State should expel Israeli ambassador, says brother

THE brother of the Palestinian leader assassinated in Dubai has called on the Irish Government to expel the Israeli ambassador from Ireland.

The use of at least five fake Irish passports in the killing of Hamas commander Mahmoud al-Mabhouh is an embarrassment to Ireland and an attack on its sovereignty, said his brother Fayeq.

Dubai authorities say the assassins were Israeli agents but Israel has refused to deny or confirm involvement.

Speaking to the Irish Examiner yesterday in his home in Jabalia, Gaza, Fayeq al-Mabhouh said Ireland should lead the way with sanctions against Israel for the murder of his brother.

“I’m asking Ireland first to participate with the investigation about the people who carried out the crime. And to find the real identities [of the assassins] to prove they belong to Israel.

“It [the use of the fake passports] will affect Ireland, it will affect the people and the Government.

“It will embarrass them and it is an attack on their sovereignty of Ireland to use such passports. We are asking Ireland to do something and it’s the time to punish Israel. We want them to condemn the action itself.

“We know that Ireland is a friend of the Palestinian people and they have the same experiences in their history.

“Of course we are not asking for military action by Ireland against Israel but diplomatic actions like calling the Irish ambassador back from Israel or sending the Israeli ambassador back to Israel.

“We want such diplomatic actions against Israel.”

Sitting in front of posters of his brother in his house in the Hamas stronghold of northern Gaza, Fayeq said evidence pointed to Israel’s role in the killing.

“All evidence shows that Mossad were responsible for the murder. There’s no one else who had any interest in killing Mahmoud except Israel. All the evidence presented by police in Dubai prove that Israel is behind this operation.”

Speculation is mounting that Dubai authorities will release proof that Mossad killed the Hamas leader, including credit card bookings made by the assassins and details of their phone calls.

Dubai now believes at least 15 agents with European passports killed him. But there is speculation in the region another country or group masterminded the attack, making it look like a clumsy Mossad operation.

Fayeq, who spent 15 years himself in jail because of involvement with Hamas, denied an internal rift between Palestinians was the reason for the killing.

While recognising that Hamas was listed as a terrorist organisation by the EU, he pointed out that like the IRA, the rulers of Gaza were involved in behind the scenes talks on peace. “We [Hamas] are having indirect talks with EU countries.”

He said his brother had become involved in Hamas’ activities from a young age.

“He became very religious, went to the mosque a lot and then got very into body building.”

Dubai reports have suggested al-Mabhouh was there for an arms deal.

Fayeq was the last person to speak to his brother by phone, the night before he was murdered in a hotel room on January 20.

“He was very secretive about his work and kept his family life separate. He wasn’t in battle or fighting yet the Israelis killed him.

“As a family we have the right to know who killed him and have lawyers in different countries working on it and when they catch the killers, we want them to be brought to court.”

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