Al-Mabhouh's father in Gaza
Photo: Reuters
'Concerned.' Miliband
Photo: AFP
Miliband: Israel must cooperate with passport probe
In Brussels meeting with FM Lieberman, British foreign secretary demands full cooperation from Israel with British inquiry into use of bogus passports in al-Mabhouh killing. Hamas: Put Israel on list of countries that sponsor terror

Britain said Monday that a total of eight forged UK passports were used in the Dubai slaying of top Hamas operative Mahmoud al-Mabhouh, two more than had been previously disclosed.


Europe minister Chris Bryant told the House of Commons on Monday that the British government has been told by Dubai authorities that two more fraudulent documents have been identified as being tied to the Jan. 20 killing.


The stalking and assassination of al-Mabhouh in a luxury Dubai hotel has widely been blamed on Israel's Mossad spy agency, and investigators on several continents are examining the use of bogus European passports and credit cards linked to US-based banks.


Dubai authorities, who have identified 18 suspects in the murder, have said they are virtually certain the Mossad was involved.


British Foreign Secretary David Miliband demanded full cooperation from Israel with a British inquiry into the use of bogus passports during talks Monday in Brussels with Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman.


The Serious and Organized Crime Agency or SOCA is investigating how the identities of British citizens were stolen.


"He made clear that we were concerned about the implications of the killing of Mr. al-Mabhouh on stability in the region, and he stressed that we require full cooperation from the Israeli authorities with the SOCA investigation," Bryant told lawmakers.


The minister said Miliband told Lieberman that Britain and Israel can only cooperate on "the basis of trust and mutual transparency."


Miliband said Lieberman "had no information to give me."


The Israeli FM, for his part, said in a statement there was no proof Israel was involved in the killing, and later told reporters: "I think you have all seen too many James Bond movies."


'Threat to international peace'

Britain's Foreign Office declined to provide the identities of those whose passports were used in the latest two cases. Many of those whose details were forged live in Israeli, but have not visited Dubai or bear little or no resemblance to the slaying suspects identified by Dubai authorities.


Following disclosure of the latest cases, the number of fake passports tied to the killing is 15 - eight British, five Irish, one French and one German.


Emirates' foreign minister, Sheik Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan has urged European nations to investigate how fraudulent passports came to be used by the hit squad.


The European Union condemned on Monday the use of fraudulent EU passports and credit cards by the assassins.


In a short statement, which EU diplomats said was intended to increase pressure on Israel after last month's killing, EU foreign ministers said the assassination raised "profoundly disturbing" issues and said citizens' rights were violated.


Meanwhile, the Palestinian Islamist movement Hamas on Monday urged European leaders to put Israel on the list of countries that sponsor terrorism over the Jewish state's alleged involvement in al-Mabhouh murder.


"We urge the EU to include the Zionist entity on the list of countries that support terrorism, as it represents a threat to international peace," Hamas said in a statement.


Hamas, which has been ruling the Gaza Strip since 2007, is considered a terrorist organization by the EU and the United States.


AP, Reuters and AFP contributed to the report


First published: 22.02.10, 19:06
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