UK Expels Mossad Rep
UK Foreign Secretary David Miliband states that trust between two countries damaged.
An Israeli diplomat is being kicked out of Britain in order to admonish Israel for allegedly using foreign British passports in the Dubai killing of a Hamas arms trafficker, Mahmoud al-Mabhouh.
It has been reported, however, that Britain feels its decision to expel the unnamed Israeli diplomat will still not be punishment enough for the Dubai assassination.
The passports of 15 British Israeli citizens were taken away at passport control, cloned, and then used by those who were a part of the hit on Mabhouh in Dubai. The UK is upset that British citizens were put in potential jeopardy in the name of taking out the Hamas bigwig.
According to Israeli MK Aryeh Eldad, Israel's "natural reaction should be to expel one of the senior diplomats in the British Embassy, maybe the military attaché or someone on his level."
MK Michael Ben-Ari, Eldad’s colleague, sided with him on the matter, adding that the Brits’ actions are evidence that the UK may harbour anti-Semitic sentiments.
On the other hand, Foreign Affairs and Defence committee chairman MK Tzahi Hanegbi recommended that Israel not respond to the Brits’ actions. Hangebi’s position is founded on his belief that any action that Israel takes in a situation such as this will create opportunities for others to “make baseless charges against Israel.”
Foreign office staff members have been instructed to keep quiet about the imminent expulsion.
UK Foreign Secretary David Miliband addressed the action this afternoon before Britain's House of Commons, stating that the relationship between the UK and Israel had been badly damaged by the incident. He demanded Israel's promise that it would not happen again, going so far as to warn UK citizens travelling to Israel that details of their identity could be at risk.
He described the expelled diplomat as having been removed from his position after an investigation into the 12 forged UK passports used during the assassination.
"We have concluded that there are compelling reasons to believe that Israel was responsible for the misuse of the British passports. The fact that this was done by a country which is a friend, with significant diplomatic, cultural, business and personal ties to the UK, only adds insult to injury," said Miliband.