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Dubai may seek Israel PM arrest over Hamas killing

Dubai, February 6, 2010

Dubai would seek the arrest of Israel's prime minister if it found evidence intelligence service Mossad was behind the killing of a senior Hamas official, said a newspaper report citing the emirate's police chief.

Hamas has blamed Israel for killing Mahmoud al-Mabhouh, one of its top military commanders, in a Dubai hotel last month. Israel has declined to comment.

Police in the United Arab Emirates have said they suspect a foreign 'criminal gang' of killing Mabhouh in his hotel room, and are looking into the possible involvement of Israel's spy agency.

Dubai's police chief, Dahi Khalfan Tamim, told The National daily that the head of the Israeli government would be held personally responsible if Mossad were implicated.

'Benjamin Netanyahu, the Israeli prime minister, will be the first to be wanted for justice as he would have been the one who signed the decision to kill al-Mabhouh in Dubai. We will issue an arrest warrant against him,' he was quoted as saying.

Tamim gave no indication police had evidence against Mossad, but his comments to the newspaper reflect widespread belief in the Muslim world that Israel assassinated Mabhouh, who engineered the capture of Israeli soldiers in the 1980s during a Palestinian uprising.

Like most Arab countries, the UAE has no diplomatic ties with the Jewish state and Israelis are routinely denied entry. Notably, it refused a visa for Israeli tennis player Shahar Peer to take part in a $2 million tournament in Dubai last year.

But the UAE does business with Israeli companies and has hosted Israeli officials. Infrastructure minister Uzi Landau attended a renewable energy conference in the UAE last month, the first visit by an Israeli minister.-Reuters

Tags: Dubai | Hamas | Israel | arrest | Benjamin Netanyahu | Mossad | Mabhouh |

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