Archive for March, 2010

Will Israel go unpunished if it is proven that Netanyahu authorized a team of Mossad assassins to murder Mahmoud al-Mabhouh?

March 1, 2010



(FEBRUARY 14, 1960 – JANUARY 19, 2010) 

“It is 99 percent, if not 100 percent, that Mossad is standing behind the murder,” said Lt. Gen. Dhahi Khalfan Tamim, Duabi’s police chief. 

Tamim was discussing the assassination of Hamas leader Mahmoud al-Mabhouh on January 19, 2010 at the Al Bustan Rotana Hotel in Dubai.  

It was reported by Uzi Mahnaimi of The Sunday Times that in early January the prime minister of Israel, Benjamin Netanyahu, authorized the assassination at a meeting with Meir Dagan, the head of Mossad, at a briefing room in Tel Aviv.  

Netanyahu . . . was greeted by Meir Dagan, the 64-year-old head of [Mossad]. . . . According to sources with knowledge of Mossad, inside the briefing room were some members of a hit squad.  As the man who gives final authorisation for such operations, Netanyahu was briefed on plans to kill Mahmoud al-Mabhouh, a member of Hamas, the militant Islamic group that controls Gaza. . . The mission was not regarded as unduly complicated or risky, and Netanyahu gave his authorisation, in effect, signing Mabhouh’s death warrant.  

“Like Tzipi Livni, Ehud Barak, Ehud Olmert, and Shaul Mofaz, Netanyahu should expect to face an arrest warrant for condoning identity theft and ordering murder once he lands in Europe,” wrote Gilad Atzman, a former member of the Israeli military now living in London. 

The assassination is accomplished 

Al-Mabhouh took a flight about 9 a.m. January 19 from Damascus to Dubai.  He arrived about 2:30 p.m. and checked into his hotel room about 3 p.m. on January 19.  He left his room about one hour after he checked in.  He returned to his room about 8:25 p.m.  The next morning, he was found dead in his room. 

“After Mabhouh’s body was discovered the next morning, January 20, it was taken for examination,” reported Avi Issacharoff in Haaretz.  “Burns from a stun gun were found under his ear, in his groin and on his chest.  Pathologists discovered his nose bled before death; blood was found on a pillow they believe was placed over his nose and mouth to suffocate him.” 

“Dubai police now say up to 18 suspects used altered British, Irish, French and German passports before the killing,” it was reported by Ian Black, Middle East editor of Guardian. 

The execution and escape was summarized by Sumayyah Meehan, Middle East correspondent for Muslim Media Network: 

[A]uthorities believe that the team [of assassins] entered the country around the same time that Al-Mabhuh did and followed him straight to his hotel room.  Once there, hotel video cameras corroborate the intricate plot of the assassins, which included several hotel rooms, disguises and the tools necessary to deprive Al-Mabhuh of his life.  According to Tamim, at least 4 of the assassins broke into Al-Mabhuh’s hotel room while he was out.  They waited for him to come back and then took less than 10 minutes to kill him.  Once the deed was done, the assassins executed an almost perfect escape plan, exiting Dubai on separate commercial airplanes in under 20 hours. 

Drugged before being suffocated 

On February 28, Dubai police issued a statement that Al-Mabhouh was sedated with the drug succinycholine before he was suffocated. 

“The assassins used this method so that it would seem that his death was natural,” according to the statement by Major Gen. Khamis Mattar al-Mazeina, the deputy commander of Dubai police.  “There were no signs of resistance shown by the victim.” 

Dubai police released security video which showed Mr. al-Mabhouh arriving at the Al Bustan Rotana Hotel and members of the assassination team before and after the murder. See video:

Dubai police chief calls for Mossad to confess  

“Dagan, the boss [of Mossad], should admit the crime . . or present a categorical denial,” said Lt. Gen. Tamim, according to a report in Emarat Al-Youm.  “But [Dagan’s] current attitude shows he is afraid.  Let him be a man, and tell the truth.” 

“Israel never responds, never  confirms and never denies,” Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman said.  “I don’t know why we are assuming that Israel, or the Mossad, used those passports.” 

“Israel’s spy service has been  suspected of carrying out assassinations for decades,” reported Steven Gutkin of Associated Press.  “Recent ones include Imad Mughniyeh, a top Hezbollah commander who was killed in 2008 by a bomb . . . in Damascus, Syria.” 

Evidence linking Mossad said to be “overwhelming” 

James Petras, Ph.D., a retired professor from Binghamton University, summarized Israel’s probable involvement in the murder: 

The evidence is overwhelming: The Dubai police presentation of detailed security videos of the assassins was corroborated by the testimony of Israeli security experts and applauded by Israel’s leading newspapers and columnists.  The Mossad openly stated that Mabhouh was a high priority target who had survived three previous assassination attempts.  Israel did not even bother to deny the murder.  Furthermore, the sophisticated communication system used by the killers, the logistics and planning surrounding their entry and exit form Dubai and the scope and scale of the operation have all the characteristics of a high-level state operation.  Furthermore, only Mossad would have access to the European passports of its dual citizens!  Only Mossad would have the capacity, motivation, stated intent and willingness to provoke a diplomatic row with its European allies, knowing full well that Western European governments’ anger would blow over because of their deep links to Israel.  After meticulous investigation and the interrogation of 2 captured Palestinian Mossad collaborators, the Dubai police chief has stated he is sure the Mossad was behind the killing. 

Professor Petras commented on the lawlessness of the assassination: 

Israel’s practice of extra-judicial, extra-territorial assassinations, exemplified by the recent murder of Mahmoud al Mabhouh in a Dubai hotel room, violates all the fundamental precepts of the rule of law.  Extra-judicial killings ordered by a state, mean its own secret police are judge, jury, prosecutor and executioner, unrestrained by sovereignty, law and the duty of nations to protect their citizens and visitors.  . . . Liquidation of opponents abroad is the logical next step after Israel’s domestic show trials, based on the application of its racial laws and administrative detention decrees, which have dispossessed the Palestinian people and violated international law. 

Israel called “a monster beyond control”  

It is probable that Israel will not be punished even if it is proven that it was responsible for the murder of al-Mabhouh. 

“But even if there’s to be no punishment, what happened has been deeply damaging to Israel’s already badly tarnished imagine in the world . . . ,” wrote Alan Hart, a Middle East commentator.  “It adds to the correct impression that the Zionist state’s leaders have complete contempt for international law and what the world thinks, and that the state is becoming, if it is not already, a monster beyond control.” 

In an essay that appeared in The Jordan Times, Hasan Abu Nimah, former representative of Jordan to the United Nations, wrote that Israel should be held accountable for al Mabhouh’s murder: 

The truth is that as it becomes desperate, Israel is turning ever more wild and dangerous, not only for its neighbors but for world peace, security and prosperity.  Without constant pressure from the Israel lobby, there may have been no invasion of Iraq.  today, it is Israel and its apologists who are constantly inciting confrontation and war against Iran when most of this region wants peace and good relations. 

Even if the countries harmed by Israel’s latest brazen act do not hold it properly and adequately accountable — as they must and should — it appears that it is on a path of self-destruction.  The great fear is how much more harm it will do to others on the way.  

At the time of his death, al-Mabhouh was one month short of his 50th birthday.   His family came from the village of Bayt Tima, which was occupied by Israeli military and paramilitary forces in 1948.  He was born at the Jabalia Camp, the largest of the Gaza Strip’s eight refugee camps.  His family fled to Gaza after having been forced to flee Bayt Tima.  More than 2,000 Palestinians attended his funeral on January 29 at al-Yarmouk, a Palestinian refugee camp near Damascus.  Al-Mabhouh is survived by his wife and four children.