LONDON – It was a strange coincidence that the exposure of the hit squad which
assassinated Hamas official Mahmoud al-Mabhouh in Dubai, an act attributed to the Mossad, coincided with an impressive winning streak by Israeli star tennis player Shahar Peer in the Emirate. More astonishingly the hit squad members were caught by Dubai security cameras disguised as tennis players. Sports reporters feasted over the concurrence.
However, the coincidence led to more embarrassing consequences. On Thursday, following Peer's win over
Danish opponent Caroline Wozniacki in the Dubai championships which qualified her for the semifinals, Israel's UK Embassy posted a puzzling message on its Twitter account.
The post read "You heard it here first: Israeli tennis player carries out hit on Dubai target," and was linked to a report informing of Peer's victory on the International Jewish Press website.
The tweet prior to being removed by the Israeli embassy
Sources at the embassy told Ynet that the message was indeed posted by its official Twitter account, however minutes later it was removed from the page.
The clumsy report comes at a most inopportune time in terms of Israel-Britain relations which have been strained recently
over the Dubai assassination affair.
British Foreign Secretary David Miliband said that he expects clarifications from Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman on the use of British passports in the hit operation.
Earlier this week Israel's Ambassador to Britain Ron Prosor was summoned for
a meeting in the British Foreign Office during which he noted he had no information on the matter.
It should be noted that the Twitter message was posted on Thursday at around 12 pm prior to Prosor's meeting and was reported by the British Guardian newspaper's website.
The Israeli Embassy in the UK issued a statement in response reading, "Naturally, messages on the Twitter network are characterized with a great deal of creativity. In this case the creativity was undoubtedly inappropriate. The ambassador told off the employee who wrote the message and it was removed."