Report: Netanyahu authorized assassination of Hamas man

Sunday, February 21, 2010 |  Israel Today Staff

According to an unnamed source cited by London's Sunday Times, Israel was in fact behind last months assassination of a top Hamas operative in Dubai, and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu personally authorized the hit.

The Israeli source told the newspaper that Netanyahu visited Mossad headquarters in early January and was told of a plan to take out Hamas commander Mahmoud al-Mabhouh shortly after he checked into his hotel in Dubai. According to the report, Netanyahu wished the best of luck to Mossad chief Meir Dagan and several of the agents who were to take part in the hit.

A day earlier, Dubai police officials claimed they were in possession of evidence that firmly linked Israel's Mossad spy agency to the assassination, and would publicize that information shortly.

Israeli Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon responded by saying there was no such evidence because Israel was not involved.

Dubai police have already released security camera footage and passport photos of the suspected 11-man hit squad. Nearly all of the suspects are clearly of Middle Eastern descent, though all were carrying European passports.

Most of the names on the passports were of Israelis who had immigrated from those European nations years earlier. Several of those named later appeared on Israeli television shocked and confused, and clearly not the same people as those shown in the photographs.

Israeli commentators continue to note that it is highly unlikely the Mossad would have stolen the identities of average Israelis as cover for is agents. More likely is that a Middle East regime that was both interested in eliminated a top Hamas operative and in smearing Israel is responsible. The top suspect for those who follow this thinking is the Palestinian Authority.

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