Israeli ambassador called to Foreign Office over Dubai murder

Israel’s ambassador Ron Prosor must explain the use of British passports of Israeli immigrants, used to conceal the identity of the Dubai killers.

By Jessica Elgot, February 18, 2010
Israel's ambassador Ron Prosor

Israel's ambassador Ron Prosor

Israel’s ambassador Ron Prosor has been invited to a meeting at the Foreign Office to discuss the killing of a Hamas leader in Dubai, where the British passports of Israeli immigrants were used to conceal the identity of some of the killers.

Both the Foreign Office and the Israeli embassy are expected to release statements later today.

A Foreign Office spokesman said the meeting was because of the “links to Israel of a number the British nationals affected.”

At least seven of the members of the Dubai assassination team, who killed Mahmoud al-Mabhouh, had passports with the names of real people, six British and one German. All of the “real names” were men who had made aliyah to Israel.

Mr Prosor is meeting Permanent Under Secretary and head of the Diplomatic Service, Peter Ricketts.

Israel’s ambassador to Ireland, Zion Evrony, has also been called to a meeting at the Irish Department of Foreign Affairs in Dublin in connection with the three fake Irish passports used in the assassination.

Israel’s Foreign Secretary Avigdor Lieberman told Israel’s Army Radio that there was “no reason to believe Israel was involved”.

He added: "I think Britain recognises that Israel is a responsible country and that our security activity is conducted according to very clear, cautious and responsible rules of the game."

The meeting comes after Prime Minister Gordon Brown called for an inquiry into the use of British passports.

The Serious Organised Crime Agency (Soca) has also been brought in to investigate the use of British documents.

A Soca spokesman said: "We are leading a full investigation into the fraudulent use of British passports in Dubai, in close co-operation with the Emirati authorities.

"We received a request from the Dubai authorities for assistance with their investigation in relation to the fraudulent use of UK passports. We can also confirm that we have received an Interpol red notice in relation to this investigation.

He confirmed that the photographs and signatures on the passports used did not match those issued in the UK.
Prime Minister Brown told a London radio station: “We have to carry out a full investigation into this. The evidence has to be assembled about what actually happened, about how it happened and why.

"The British passport is an important part of being British and we have to make sure everything is being done to protect it."

The former LibDem leader Sir Menzies Campbell was the first to demand Mr Prosor should be called in by the Foreign Office to confirm or deny Mossad were involved in the killing.

He said: “If the Israeli government was party to behaviour of this kind it would be a serious violation of trust between nations.” Israel’s ambassador to Ireland has also been asked to speak to the authorities in Dublin over the alleged misuse of Irish passports in the operation.

Conservative leader David Cameron later said: "More questions need to be asked of Israel to make sure this never happens again."

The British passport holders named by Dubai police are Stephen Daniel Hodes, Melvyn Adam Mildiner, Paul John Keeley, Michael Lawrence Barney, James Leonard Clarke, and Jonathan Louis Graham.

All have expressed shock at their identities apparently having been stolen.

Mr al-Mabhouh was found suffocated in his hotel room. CCTV footage released of the assassination shows the assassins following him in the elevator and checking into a room across the hall.

Last updated: 4:53pm, February 18 2010