Row over alleged Mossad man's German passport

Hamas leader Mahmoud al Mabhouh

Hamas leader Mahmoud al Mabhouh

Relations between Germany and Israel have been threatened following revelations that an alleged Mossad agent fraudulently applied for a German passport with a story of Nazi persecution.

Uri Brodsky, an Israeli suspected of involvement in the killing of a Hamas operative in Dubai, is said to have helped a Mossad agent obtain illegal German documentation through the use of false papers and a concocted story.

Mr Brodsky has been arrested in Warsaw on a Europe-wide arrest warrant issued by the German federal authorities and is awaiting extradition to Germany.

The assassination of Hamas leader Mahmoud al Mabhouh in January has been widely attributed to the Mossad, with Ireland, Australia and Great Britain all expelling Israeli diplomats over passport thefts.

According to German newspaper Der Spiegel, a passport used in the operation was falsely obtained after an Israeli calling himself Hans Bodenheimer told officials he had fled the Nazis and successfully applied for German citizenship in Tel Aviv.

Soon after, a Michael Bodenheimer, describing himself as Hans's son, arrived in Cologne where he applied for German naturalisation with the help of Mr Brodsky.

The pair apparently then used Han’s Bodenheimer’s marriage certificate and passport to make the application. The passport was issued in June 2009 and German authorities claim it can be linked to the Dubai killing.

Der Spiegel said Mr Brodsky, believed to be a borrowed identity, also used the alias of Alexander Verin.

Although the allegations against Mr Brodsky are unproven, the paper said officials in Berlin were “outraged” and felt that the incident was "one step too far”.

Last updated: 10:20am, June 22 2010