Mossad accused of mafia-style hit


AN ARAB member of the Knesset, Israel’s parliament, yesterday accused the Mossad of carrying out a mafia-style hit, after his request for a parliamentary debate on the Dubai assassination was refused.

A stormy exchange took place between Arab and Jewish legislators in the Knesset House committee after the parliament’s presidency rejected the request by Arab Knesset member Taleb A-Sana for a debate in the plenum on last month’s assassination of Hamas militant Mahmoud al-Mabhouh.

Although Israeli officials have made no comment on reports that the Israeli spy agency was behind the killing, Mr A-Sana, from the United Arab List party, argued that the Knesset should discuss the issue because there was no doubt it was of public concern.

“Is assassinating in another country using mafia methods a victory? It was an act of terror. They were caught red-handed in Dubai,” Mr A-Sana said. “Every movement, including the glasses, was captured. Whoever is behind this should be prosecuted.”

Fellow United Arab List Knesset member Ahmed Tibi told the committee that the real hero of the affair was the Dubai police chief who exposed the use of foreign passports by the alleged perpetrators.

Jewish members reacted angrily to the accusations from their Arab colleagues, calling Mr Tibi “Dubai’s ambassador to Israel.”

Carmel Shama from the ruling Likud party said he would be sad if it transpired Israel was not behind the assassination. He told the committee that killing the Hamas militant was a mitzvah – a good deed under Jewish law.

The Mossad chief was an Israeli hero who “does good work quietly”, according to Mr Shama. Chairman of the House committee Yariv Levin of Likud said the killing of “arch-terrorist ” al-Mabhouh was justified.

Meanwhile, in the strongest remarks made so far by any Israeli politician on the assassination, opposition leader and former foreign minister Tzipi Livni praised the killing as “good news to those fighting terrorism”.

According to Dan Halutz, the former Israeli army chief of staff, the Dubai assassination contributed to Israel’s deterrence against terrorist organisations.

“Every person like him, whose assassination is being attributed to us in the world by foreign sources and chatty Israelis, needs to think before every move, trip, ticket ordering or hotel booking online,” he said.

“These actions deter terrorist organisations, as well as states, who understand the capabilities of Israel’s intelligence,” he added.