France quizzes Israel over passport in Hamas killing
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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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