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Britain expels Israeli diplomat over Dubai passport row

(The Guardian) - Britain is to expel an Israeli diplomat over the use of forged UK passports by the killers of a senior Hamas official in January.

The foreign secretary, David Miliband, will make a statement to the House of Commons this afternoon, blaming Israeli intelligence for the cloning of passports belonging to British citizens. The documents were carried by an assassination team that killed Mahmoud al-Mabhouh in a Dubai hotel.

British officials said Miliband would "request" the immediate departure of an Israeli diplomat, adding that they expect the request to be honoured.

"We think they mucked around with our passports, and we believe that requires consequences," an official said.

Miliband will announce the results of an investigation by the Serious Organised Crime Agency (Soca) into the abuse of British passports in the assassination, which will implicate Israel.

Diplomats stressed that the foreign secretary's remarks would be confined to the issue of passports and would not address Mabhouh's murder: "That is for the Emirati authorities," an official said.

However, the statement will be widely seen around the world as the first definitive allegation from a western government of Israeli responsibility for the murder.

"But I will not let myself be reduced to silence."

Global Warming - distance between America and Europe is steadily increasing.

by Oui on Tue Mar 23rd, 2010 at 11:33:42 AM EST

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