Arab newspapers give Mabhouh hit mixed bag
Al-Sharq al-Awsat lauds Mossad's 'outstanding' professionalism, notes that Israel should be proud to flaunt responsibility for al-Mabhouh assassination. Al-Quds al-Arabi newspaper calls upon Gulf states to deal harshly with violation of their sovereignty, calls Mossad 'terrorist security apparatus'
"By assassinating al-Mabhouh in the heart of Dubai, Israel has brought the battle outside the borders of occupied Palestine," wrote Abd al-Bari Atwan, editor-in-chief of London-based newspaper Al-Quds al-Arabi, on Wednesday following the release of the stolen identities that served the agents who took out senior Hamas official Mahmoud al-Mabhouh.
Many Arab newspapers gave broad coverage of the apparent exposure of the assassins and its implications.
"Israel violated the sovereignty of a number of countries, including the United Arab Emirates where the crime took place, as well as the sovereignty of Ireland, Britain, and France, whose passports were used to commit the crime," wrote Atwan.
"We don't know how the countries will respond to these humiliations or what Hamas' response will be to this dangerous and provocative development. However, we know that Hamas, along with Hezbollah, will go down to the field of assassinations and secret war through outside operations that will inflict massive damage on Israel and its interests," he continued.
Atwan called for action to be taken against Israel following the recent developments. "Late King Hussein took a firm stance when the Mossad tried to assassinate (Hamas leader) Khaled Mashaal in Jordanian territory and threatened to revoke the peace agreement with Israel if they didn't hand over the anti-dote to the poison (with which Mashaal was injected – R.N.)," he reminded his readers.
"Therefore, we expect not only the UAE, but also the entire Gulf Cooperation Council, to take collective actions against this dangerous violation of one of its countries."
'No immunity for anyone – moderate or extreme'
"The Israeli Mossad assassinated al-Mabhouh ten days after the extremist Israeli minister, Uzi Landau, visited Abu Dhabi to participate in an international renewable energy conference as the head of a large Israeli delegation and while an Israeli tennis player took part in the Dubai Open," Atwan added.
"This means that this terrorist security apparatus does not hesitate to carry out crimes even in calm Muslim countries that are prepared to normalize relations with its government. The terrorist message here is clear: There is no immunity for anyone – moderate or extreme, prepared to normalize or not," concluded Atwan, who is not counted among Israel's proponents in the Arab world.
On the other hand, the London daily al-Sharq al-Awsat actually reported its satisfaction with Israel from the operation, calling it "victory intoxication."
The newspaper noted a number of points for which Israelis should be proud following exposure of the affair: "Firstly, the pictures acquitted Israeli minister, Uzi Landau, who was accused of bringing about the assassination agents. It was clearly proven that the assassins arrived in Dubai separately and privately without any need for the minister and his entourage. They arrived from Beirut and other countries."
"Secondly, the operation proved their outstanding professionalism since the assassins were able to carry out (the mission) and leave without any hurdle. According to the Israelis, the professionalism was proven in the methods used by the mission's agents, step after step, and in the means they used to disguise their real facial features."
"Third, Dubai is full of cameras at every corner, which was a surprise. The cameras did not prevent this assassination, but made it difficult for anyone seeking to repeat this again in the future," the paper wrote.
"Fourth, while most of the senior Israeli officials would like blame for the assassination to be assigned to them so they could proudly flaunt it, at the same time, they are glad the Dubai Police have not managed to directly accuse them thus far. The 11 people seen in the pictures as those who carried out the assassination did not carry an Israeli passport, and it is unclear what the investigation will reveal," the report concluded.