The weekend’s big bombshell was a sensationalistic Times of London exposé reporting that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu officially approved Mossad’s assassination of chief Hamas weapons procurer Mahmoud Mabhouh; that Mabhouh was in Dubai en route to Iran, in order to orchestrate an arms shipment to Gaza; that Mossad did indeed track him from the Dubai airport to his hotel; that Mossad’s handiwork was uncovered only due to Dubai’s extensive security camera system; and that, after killing Mabhouh (it’s still unclear how), the assassin put the “Do Not Disturb” sign on the doorknob. The article also paints Mossad chief Meir Dagan as steadfastly increasing Mossad’s lethal activities, motivated by a desired to prevent a second Holocaust. The article is by no means neutral. Rather, it harshly judges not only the fact that Mossad’s plot has essentially been uncovered, but, seemingly, the morality of the plot itself.
Another report has it that two ex-Fatah security members cooperated with Mossad. These Palestinian men currently work for a company owned by prominent Fatah security official Mohammed Dahlan, who, oh so surprisingly, denies all involvement.
Dubai police say they’re on the verge of announcing definitively, based on cell phone and credit card records, that it was indeed Mossad; for now, they say they are “99 percent” sure. (For the record, Mabhouh could have made it a bit more difficult on his killer: booking his plane over the Internet and telling his family which hotel he was staying at are not ideal things to do if you’re trying to stay alive.)
Even so, the United Arab Emirates—the federation in which Dubai is a member—is requesting active help from the European Union in the investigation, specifically related to the forged European passports the assassins carried. Then again, the single German passport used by an assassin was reported real, which means Germany loses this particular umbrage sweepstakes to Britain, France, and Ireland.
The increasing consensus that it was Mossad has caused the beginnings of diplomatic rifts between Israel and various European countries, particularly those whose passports were faked as part of the plot. Said French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner: “The case shows the need for a Palestinian state, immediately.”
Below is the trailer for al-Jazeera’s 30-minute documentary on the spy-thriller element of the plot; for the whole thing, go here.
Oh, and yeah: “There is nothing linking Israel to the assassination of Mabhouh,” said Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon. Mossad itself remains mum, which is generally how it do.
Meir Dagan: The Mastermind Behind Mossad’s Secret War [Times of London]
Dubai Police: Soon We’ll Have Proof Against Mossad [JPost]
U.A.E. ‘Deeply Concerned’ Over Passports Used in Hamas Leader’s Assassination [LAT]
Earlier: The Great Dubai Murdery Mystery
Marc Tracy is a staff writer at The New Republic, and was previously a staff writer at Tablet. He tweets @marcatracy.