Israel, Dubai top cops meet

2010-11-15 23:17

Jerusalem - A top Israeli police officer has met with the chief of police of Dubai, who has led accusations that Israel was behind the slaying of a Hamas commander in the emirate, an Israeli newspaper said on Monday.

The Yediot Aharonot daily said that the head of the Israeli police investigations and intelligence branch, Yoav Segalovich, was in Qatar last week for the Interpol general assembly when he met Dubai's Dahi Khalfan "by chance".

"They were introduced, they shook hands and greeted one another," the paper quoted an Israeli police source it did not identify as saying.

He added that the exchange between the two men was relaxed and there was no apparent tension between them, despite the dispute between their countries.

Contacted by AFP on Monday, the Israeli police spokesperson could not immediately confirm or deny the story.

In September, Khalfan said he had received death threats from Israel's Mossad intelligence agency, linked to his role in uncovering details of the murder of Hamas militant Mahmud al-Mabhuh in a Dubai hotel on January 20.

Mabhuh, a founder of the military wing of the Islamist Hamas movement which controls the Gaza Strip, was found dead in his room in the Al Bustan Rotana hotel near Dubai airport.

He was wanted by Israel for the alleged murder of two of its citizens.

He had been drugged and asphyxiated, apparently by a group of people seen on hotel closed-circuit security cameras following him to his room.

Twelve British, six Irish, four French, one German and three Australian passports were used by the 26 people believed linked to the murder, according to Dubai police.

In many cases, the travel documents appeared either to have been faked or obtained illegally. The countries whose passports were used all called in Israeli envoys for talks.

Britain announced in March that it was expelling one Israeli diplomat while Australia announced in May that it was throwing out an official from the Israeli embassy.

Israel has said there is no evidence linking it or the Mossad to the assassination.