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France quizzes Israel over passport in Hamas killing

Last Updated: Friday, February 19, 2010 - 09:07

Paris: France summoned a top Israeli diplomat on Thursday to demand an explanation over reports that a false French passport was used by the suspected killers of a Hamas leader.
Israeli charge d`affaires Sammy Ravel was asked at the French Foreign Ministry "for explanations on the use of a fake French passport" in the murder, ministry spokesman Bernard Valero told reporters.

Diplomatic tensions have mounted over the killing last month of Mahmud al-Mabhuh, a leader of the Hamas group that rules the Gaza Strip, after the Dubai police said that 11 European passport holders were allegedly involved.

The Foreign Ministry "expressed France`s deep concern about the malicious and fraudulent use" of a French passport, Valero said.

Ravel met with the French government`s Middle East affairs chief Patrice Paoli, he said.

The Israeli embassy in Paris declined to comment.

Britain and Ireland have also summoned Israeli envoys over the suspects` alleged use of fake passports.

Dubai police chief Lieutenant General Dahi Khalfan Tamim said he was 99 percent sure the Israeli intelligence agency Mossad was behind the murder, an Abu-Dhabi based newspaper reported on Thursday.


First Published: Friday, February 19, 2010 - 09:07

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