Mossad chief faces axe over Dubai fiasco: Report

Last Updated: Saturday, June 26, 2010 - 17:42

Jerusalem: Israel`s long-time super spy
Meir Dagan, who heads the country`s ultra secretive Mossad,
is likely to step down in three months time apparently because
of an international furore over the Dubai killing of a top
Hamas commander.

Dagan, the chief of Israel`s espionage agency has
served as Mossad Director since 2002 and was dubbed as the man
of the year two years ago by the Israeli media.

But the Dubai fiasco seems to have cast a shadow over
his tenure, with the government denying him another extension,
after the expiry of his term in 90 days.

Mossad`s activities came in for severe international
criticism after the January assassination of Hamas commander
Mahmoud al-Mabhouh in Dubai, widely believed to have been
carried out by Mossad agents using forged foreign passports.

Dagan, who was recently described in the Arab world as
the Jewish state`s `superman`, is likely to step down in three
months after being denied another extension due to the
embarrassment caused by the alleged Dubai affair, Israel`s
Channel 2 reported.

It said the chief spy had requested another year as
the head of the intelligence agency, but his request was
turned down. The Prime Minister`s Office did not comment on
the report.

The Mossad chief was appointed to the post by former
Prime Minister Ariel Sharon eight years ago and his term was
later extended by both Ehud Olmert and current Prime Minister
Benjamin Netanyahu for some of the heroic exploits reported in
the international media and attributed to the agency.

However, Dagan, dubbed the man of the year two years
ago by the Israeli media, faced international criticism after
the January assassination of Hamas commander Mahmoud
al-Mabhouh in Dubai, which was widely believed to be carried
out by Mossad agents using forged foreign passports.

Israel has maintained that there is no proof tying it
to the killing of the Hamas commander but the affair caused a
lot of embarrassment to the state given that several passports
used in the affair belonged to Israelis with dual nationality.

It also led to a diplomatic row with the affected
countries, with Ireland and Australia expelling Israeli
diplomats over the affair, the Dubai police calling for
Dagan`s resignation, and Britain expelling a Mossad official.

Dagan`s successes in operations against Hizbullah,
Hamas, Syria and Iran, had endeared him to the political
leadership as well as the Israeli public before he fell out of
favour following the latest intelligence operation.

PTI



First Published: Saturday, June 26, 2010 - 17:42

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