DUBLIN—In what is unfolding as an embarrassing situation for the Israeli government, Ireland summoned Israel's ambassador on Thursday as it appeared that fake Irish passports were used by an alleged Mossad hit squad in Dubai.
Dubai's police chief accused Israel's security agency, Mossad, of being behind the assassination of a Hamas military commander in Dubai last month. The 11 suspects named by Dubai police were traveling on European passports.
Irish Foreign Affairs minister, Micháel Martin, said on Thursday that new information received by United Arab Emirate authorities showed that three Irish passports used by the hit squat were fake.
The passport numbers correspond to numbers on three legitimate Irish passports, belonging to three Israelis.
“The Department of Foreign Affairs is urgently endeavoring to contact the three Irish citizens who hold or have held passports containing these numbers,” said the minister, who also requested that the privacy of the three individuals concerned be respected.
The minister says he regards any activity which would jeopardize the integrity of the Irish passport as extremely serious.
“Our passport is widely regarded and respected throughout the world as being of the highest quality, he said. "I am determined to maintain the good name of Irish passports." he said.
Mr. Martin noted that his department is “liaising closely” with the UAE authorities and with the Gardaí (Irish police) on the matter.
Israel's foreign minister denied the Mossad's involvement in the assassination on Wednesday, telling Israeli media "I don’t know why we are assuming that Israel, or the Mossad, used those passports."
Assassinated Hamas leader Al-Mabhouh, who was one of the founders of the militant group, was reportedly in Dubai to buy weapons.