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Evan Burton

Israeli diplomat expelled over passport affair

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Israel responsible for faking Aussie passports

http://www.smh.com.au/national/israel-resp...00524-w5a3.html

Australia's relations with Israel have hit a new low, with the Rudd Government expelling an Israeli diplomat over the fake passports affair.

The Minister for Foreign Affairs, Stephen Smith, told Parliament today that inquiries by Australian intelligence agencies into the use of fake Australian passports in Dubai had concluded the fakes were the work of a state intelligence agency. Mr Smith said this led to the conclusion there was no doubt Israel was responsible.

"No government can tolerate the abuse of its passports, especially by a foreign government," he said. "This represents a clear affront to the security of our passport system."

The scandal over the use of fake passports erupted internationally after the January murder of a Hamas operative. Mahmoud al-Mabhouh, one of Hamas's top arms dealers, was found dead in his hotel room on January 20. Dubai police identified 27 people involved in the assassination, 12 of whom travelled on forged British passports. Four of the suspects travelled on Australian passports in the names of four dual Australian-Israeli citizens.

Mr Smith said that intelligence sharing with Mossad would also be cut as the fake passports affair drags relations between the two countries to a new low.

Speaking after his statement to Parliament, Mr Smith said the fakes were of such a quality that they “could only (have been) affected by a nation through a state intelligence service.” He said that this had led to the conclusion that “Israel was responsible for the counterfeiting and cloning of those passports”.

The AFP and the Director-General of ASIO made trips to Israel to investigate the allegations. Mr Smith said that the Australian investigation cleared the four Australians whose identities were used in the operation. They were “innocent victims”, he said. On relations with Israel, Mr Smith said: “We do not regard these actions as the actions of a friend.” But Mr Smith qualified his attack on Israel, adding, “We are a firm friend of Israel. We regret very much that this incident has occurred.”

The Minister briefed the National Security Committee of Federal Cabinet this morning on the findings of the intelligence agencies, and recommended the expulsion of the Israeli diplomat as well as a freeze on intelligence sharing. Questioned on whether the officer expelled from Australia was a member of Mossad, Mr Smith said: “I’m not proposing to identify that particular person". However, he appeared to keep open such a possibility by adding, “Our response on any measure is comparable to the British response.” Mr Smith said the abuse of Australia's passports was not what Australia expected from a nation with which it had had such a close and friendly relationship.

Isreal's ambassador is overseas until June 8, but the Israeli embassy in Canberra has declined to comment until later today.

In March, Britain expelled Mossad's London station chief over the use of forged British passports in the assassination of al-Mabhouh in Dubai.

The French, Irish and German governments also investigated the use of copies of their passports in the Dubai killing.

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It is suspected by some that Israel torpedoed the South Korean ship. Israel does have German subs station in Vietnam.

see

http://theglobalrealm.com/2010/05/15/what%...%80%9D-attacks/

Forensics have identified residues of a German-made torpedo.

South Korean officials have not officially accused the North but made little secret of their belief Pyongyang deliberately torpedoed the 1,200-tonne corvette Cheonan in March near their disputed border in retaliation of a naval firefight last year

Edited by Steven Gaal

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It is suspected by some that Israel torpedoed the South Korean ship. Israel does have German subs station in Vietnam.

see

http://theglobalrealm.com/2010/05/15/what%...%80%9D-attacks/

Forensics have identified residues of a German-made torpedo.

South Korean officials have not officially accused the North but made little secret of their belief Pyongyang deliberately torpedoed the 1,200-tonne corvette Cheonan in March near their disputed border in retaliation of a naval firefight last year

Evan,

This isn't a Passport affair, it's a political assassination.

They've also identified five more individuals invovled bringing the number of those known to be involved in the operation to 35, some using their real identities and others identified as sleeper agents.

And Steven, why did I suspect you would make that allegation?

I don't think it's the Isralie style to false flag a sunken ship. The IRA, maybe.

It's really hard for me to believe that North Korea torpeoded and sank a South Korean warship last month, and we're just now getting around to realizing it?

Explain that one to me Evan.

I guess it's too late for a real knee-jerk reaction, huh?

BK

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All the evidence points to Mossad carrying out a political assassination, Bill. I think they should face the consequences. But sinking a South Korean patrol vessel? Like you, I think it is far fetched.

What do you think will be the consequences, Bill? Obviously the diplomatic expulsion is just a token effort, something we had to do, but what now?

International sanctions?

I think we'll be seeing some type of 'retribution' against Israel from Hamas and though two wrongs do not make a right, we can hardly blame them, can we?

They have all become bad as each other.

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