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Ambassador Proser, summoned to Foreign Office
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Mahmoud al-Mabhouh, found dead in Dubai (Archives)
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UK to expel Israeli diplomat over Dubai case
Daily Telegraph reports British statement to formally name Israeli government as responsible for cloning 15 British passports used in assassination of Hamas man Mahmoud al-Mabhouh, government official says Israeli diplomat to be expelled

Britain's government will expel an Israeli diplomat from London on Tuesday over the use of forged British passports in the suspected Mossad assassination of a Hamas operative.

 

Foreign Secretary David Miliband was scheduled to address lawmakers in the House of Commons over the issue, following the conclusion of an investigation into the use of fake UK documents. He is slated to make a statement on the matter at 3:30 pm GMT. 

 

Miliband's office declined to provide details of his statement in advance, citing Parliamentary rules. But a government official, speaking on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to comment ahead of the statement, confirmed that Britain will expel one Israeli diplomat.

 

Israel's foreign ministry confirmed that the country's ambassador to Britain Ron Prosor was called to London's Foreign Office on Monday for talks.

  

Earlier Tuesday, the Daily Telegraph reported that the body probing the involvement of British passport holders in the assassination of Hamas official Mahmoud al-Mabhouh is slated to formally name Israel as being behind the affair.

 

According to the report, Israeli Ambassador to London, Ron Proser, was summoned by the Foreign Office on Monday to learn of the results of the investigation into the Dubai assassination.

 

A British ministerial statement to be made to the parliament will name the Israeli security services as responsible for the cloning of up to 15 British passports, which were allegedly copied after being taken away by airport officials.

 

Israel is suspected of being behind the hit, and a number of European Union passports were used by the alleged assassins, which evoked European anger.

 

According to the report, the British statement will say that it cannot be determined definitively whether the Mossad was responsible for the operation, with suspicion also resting on the Military Intelligence Directorate.

 

However, the probe did confirm that the passports were copied when British citizens passed through airports on their way to Israel, with officials taking them away for “checks” which lasted around 20 minutes.

 

Foreign Office sources expressed frustration with their inability to "punish" Israel over the affair.

A number of the British citizen's whose passports were stolen hold dual nationality with Israel. They include Gabriella Barney, 23, and her father Michael, 54, along with Daniel Marc Schnur, 32, Roy Allan Cannon, 62, Stephen Keith Drake, 54, Mark Daniel Sklar, 30, and Philip Carr, 35.

 

The Associated Press and Reuters contributed to this report

 


First published: 23.03.10, 09:36
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