Israel behind Australian passport forgery in Dubai

Written by: Devaki
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Canberra, May 24: Australian Government said that it had ordered the banishment of the Israeli diplomat for the use of fake passports in the assassination of a top Hamas militant in Dubai in January.

Australian Foreign Minister Smith said on Monday, May 24 that a police enquiry could found out the Israeli intelligence services behind the forgery of four Australian passports used by suspects in the killing of the Hamas militant, Mahmoud al-Mabhouh in a hotel room.

Dubai authorities have revealed the names of the accused of the team which tracked and killed the militant and said they used fraudulent British, German, Irish, Australian and French passports to enter and leave Dubai.

"These investigations and advice have left the government in no doubt that Israel was responsible for the abuse and counterfeiting of these passports," said the Foreign Minister to the Australian Parliament. "These are not the actions of a friend," he added.

The Australian government ordered an inquiry into the fake passports by police and intelligence services, who visited Israel and found the four citizens involved had been innocent of any wrongdoing.

"No government can tolerate the abuse of its passports, especially by a foreign government. This is not what we expect from a nation with whom we have had such a close, friendly and supportive relationship," said Smith. He also revealed that the government had asked that a member of Israel's Australian embassy in Canberra be withdrawn within a week.

In Feb 2010, Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman said that there was no evidence to link his country to the killing, which later prompted Britain to expel an Israeli in March.

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