Members of the Australian police force, visiting Israel
in order to question three Israelis whose forged Australian passports
were used in the assassination of Hamas
strongman Mahmoud al-Mabhouh
in Dubai, were allegedly involved in a hit-and-run accident with a cyclist in Tel Aviv just hours after landing in the country, according to a report Wednesday in Australian ABC.
According to the report, the officers did not stop to offer help to the woman on the bike.
The network reported that the three police officers arrived in Israel in order to investigate the use of three Israelis' passports: Adam Marcus Korman, Joshua Daniel Bruce, and Nicole Sandra McCabe. They spent the day in the Australian Embassy in Tel Aviv, where they were slated to interview the three Israelis, all of whom hold dual citizenship.
When they left the embassy building, their vehicle, with a diplomatic license plate, hit a bicyclist. The Australian police, however, kept on driving without stopping.
While the cyclist was not hurt, she would like a apology from the Australian Embassy over the issue, and a new wheel for her bike. According to her, she already contacted a lawyer on the matter.
The Australian Embassy said that it is investigating the incident, but that the woman has yet to file a formal complaint, and, as such, it cannot confirm that the accident indeed took place. No comment has yet to be received from the Australian police. The Australian news report stated that the three officers were traveling in a Toyota.
An Australian Embassy spokeswoman told The Australian newspaper that the issue at hand is a serious one. When asked what the driver said about the incident, she said she did not find it fitting to discuss the investigation before it has been completed.
Oshra Bar, 22 from Jaffa, confirmed the event in a conversation with Ynet. She said that second within being hit, she was surrounded by Australian reporters covering the police officers' visit. "They told me that the car that hit was the car belonging to the Australian police who came to investigate. I only saw the diplomatic plates."
Later, an Australian reporter came to her house to interview her. When she refused to have her picture taken, Bar says the reporter attacked her.
"He was outside my apartment, and he took out his camera sort of charmingly in an attempt to convince me. I tried to close the door when he stuck out his foot to try to keep the door open forcefully. I tried to slam the door and I screamed at him to get lost and that I don't want to be photographed. Then he grabbed the door and tried to push his way in," Bar said.
She said that the reporter then proceeded to grab her hand so he could get his hand in the door and take a few pictures. Bar said that she ultimately succeeded in pushing him out.
The Australian reporter stridently denied young woman's allegations. In a conversation with Ynet, he claimed that nothing of the sort took place.
Australia's government called in
Israel's ambassador after three people travelling on Australian passports were named as suspects in the assassination. According to The Australian website, Ambassador Yuval Rotem was called in by Foreign Minister Stephen Smith.
"Any state that has been complicit in use or abuse of the Australian passport system, let alone for the conduct of an assassination, is treating Australia with contempt and there will therefore be action by the Australian government in response," said Smith.