The identity of an IDF soldier who fell in the Yom Kippur War of 1973 was used by a member of the group who assassinated senior Hamas figure Mahmoud al-Mabhouh in Dubai, the Wall Street Journal reported, adding another chapter to the international scandal that followed the forgery of European passports for the assassination operation.
Over the weekend the Journal reported that Dubai police had encountered difficulties in investigating the assassination because they could not locate one of the assassins, identified as British citizen Christopher Lockwood (62).
Assistance of Interpol and French and UK police proved ineffective; the cell phone registered in Lockwood's name in France was disconnected and observations of his apartment in London led to nothing.
Further investigation revealed that his original name was Yehuda Lustig, and was changed to Christopher Lockwood only in 1994. Lustig, it appears, was born in Scotland to a British couple who had lived in Israel when it was under the British Mandate. Dubai police hoped this discovery would enable them to make the connection between the assassination and the Mossad, but this hope quickly faded – Lustig was killed in the 1973 war.
The Defense Ministry's remembrance site for fallen soldiers relates that Lustig grew up in Beersheba and later Gedera. He joined the army in 1966 and was recruited to the Armored Corps. During the Yom Kippur War he saw action in the Sinai Peninsula and on October 10, 1973 – exactly 37 years ago – he was killed on Halutz Hill, in the northern part of the Suez Canal, when his armored personnel carrier was hit by two missiles. He was laid to rest at the Gedera cemetery. He left behind his wife, parents, brother and sister.
'Married just a few weeks'
Reports on the use of his identity surprised his widow Kokhava Sunday.
"It was very unpleasant to wake up to these reports," she said to Ynet. "I don't know how to take it all, what it means from my point of view, why they did it."
The reports reached her with awful timing. "Today is exactly October 10, the anniversary of Yehuda's death, and it's not pleasant at all," she said, adding that she heard it first from a friend who called.
Lustig's grave at Gedera cemetery (Photo: Tova Dadon)
"He was a computer student in his third year when he died," Lustig's widow says. "We were married just seven weeks when he signed up – until he was killed."
'Investigation could take years'
According to the Wall Street Journal, this discovery brought yet another lead to a dead end, leaving investigators still a long way from reaching the eight suspects in the assassination – contrary to the proud declarations made by Dubai police immediately after the killing.
According to Nick Day, former senior British intelligence officer who was not involved in the Mabhouh investigation, the more time goes by, the more time there is for the security services to cover the tracks of the suspects and bury evidence. Another source told the newspaper that while Dubai police may still be full of hope, they recognize the investigation could take years.
About a fortnight ago, Dubai's chief of police Dahi Khalfan Tamim said another suspect had been arrested. Khalfan Tamim noted the suspect had been arrested in a European state but declined to give details or say whether Dubai would request extradition.
The arrest, he said, had taken place after UAE authorities had undertaken international monitoring in their efforts to reach the suspects, whose pictures were published around the world.
On 4 June, another suspect in the case, Israeli citizen Uri Brodsky, was arrested at Warsaw airport and extradited to Germany. A German court granted his release and he returned to Israel, though his case is still pending in Germany.
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