Aus expels Israeli diplomat

2010-05-24 07:52
Canberra - Australia ordered the expulsion of an Israeli diplomat on Monday after investigators concluded Israel was responsible for forging four Australian passports that were used in the slaying of a Hamas operative in Dubai.

Australia's reaction echoes that of the UK, which in March expelled a diplomat in retaliation for the use of 12 fake British passports in the plot to kill Hamas official Mahmoud al-Mabhouh. Dubai authorities blame Israel's Mossad intelligence service for the slaying in January.

The governments of Ireland, Germany and France have yet to state how they will react to similar cases of alleged identity fraud against its citizens, as revealed in the investigation. Australia had not expelled a foreign diplomat since 2004.

Foreign Minister Stephen Smith told Parliament that the operation to kill Hamas official Mahmoud al-Mabhouh in a Dubai hotel room was not the first time Israel had forged Australian travel documents. He did not elaborate on previous incidents, but said the latest transgression breached "confidential undertakings" between the two countries that have stood for several years.

"These are not the actions of a friend," he said. "This is not what we expect from a nation with whom we have had such a close, friendly and supportive relationship."

Cooling period

Smith said Israel had been asked to withdraw a diplomat, whom he did not identify, within a week. The duration of the expulsion was indefinite.

The Israeli Embassy said it would issue a statement later on Monday. Israeli ambassador Yuval Rotem is out of the country until early next month.

Australia had notified the US of its decision because of Canberra's security alliance with Washington and Washington's close friendship with Tel Aviv, Smith said.

Australia had also notified the United Arab Emirates and all the countries whose nationals claimed to have identities stolen in the case. Smith said Australian co-operation with Israel on security and intelligence matters would suffer.

"Clearly as a result of today's events, there will be something of a cooling period so far as relevant agencies are concerned and, just as in the United Kingdom, time will tell just how long that may or may not be," Smith said.

Israel had not retaliated against Britain's expulsion of a diplomat and Smith said he would be disappointed if Israel retaliated against Australia's decision.

Dubai authorities have identified at least 26 suspects from an alleged hit squad.

"The high quality of these counterfeited passports points to the involvement of a state intelligence service," said Smith.

He said Australia's investigation by police and intelligence services "left the government in no doubt that Israel was responsible for the abuse and counterfeiting of these passports".
- AP
Read more on:    mossad  |  mahmoud al-mabhouh  |  israel  |  australia
NEXT ON NEWS24X
SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

 

Inside News24

 
/Africa
 

Hottie of the day: Charlotte

Meet our hottie of the day, Charlotte. She feels sexiest after a good workout at the gym!

 
 

Men24.com

This is why guys shouldn’t be in photos
BMW drift battle: M235i vs. speedway bike
Want to start talking dirty?
And this year's Miss Bumbum title goes to...

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Jobs in Western Cape region

Sales Consultant

Kuils River
Multinetwork Cellular and Data Pty (Ltd)
R3 000 - R5 000 Per Month

Entrepreneurial Apprenticeship

Cape Town Northern Suburbs
Xebec Human Capital PTY LTD

Georadar Application Engineer

Western Cape
GS Recruitment Services
R30 000 - R40 000 Per Month

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Magical Massinga

Spend 5 nights at the gorgeous Massinga Beach Lodge in Mozambique and only pay for 4 from R13 220 per person sharing. Includes return flights, accommodation, transfers and romantic turndown. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Festive gifts!

Check out our awesome range of festive gifts to make everyone’s wishes come true. Shop now!

Seen something you like in our catalogue?

Find the perfect gift and save up to R5000 – As seen on the catalogue. Hurry and shop now!

Save up to R2200 on electronics! – As seen in the catalogue

Wishing for tech gadgets this festive? Save up to R2100 on hot tech products at kalahari.com. While stocks last. Shop now!

Up to 35% off books

Save up to 35% on the latest page-turners. While stocks last. Shop now!

Good Morning, Mr Mandela by Zelda la Grange

Good Morning, Mr Mandela tells the extraordinary story of how a young woman had her life, beliefs, prejudices and everything she once believed in utterly transformed by the greatest man of her time. Now R221. Pre-order now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

You have the ability to lead and take up campaigns that can sway the crowd and make things happen. There can be a slightly...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.