Source: Gulf News 3 Feb 2010
Chief of Dubai Police and Hamas officials on Tuesday made light of an Israeli press report pointing fingers at Arab parties, and not Israelis, for the assassination of a Hamas leader in Dubai two weeks ago.
"As usual, they are lying," Lt General Dahi Khalfan Tamim, Chief of Dubai Police, told Gulf News when reached for his comment on a report published by the Haaretz newspaper.
Hamas officials, also, accused the Israeli media of deception and "covering their crime", a reference to the killing of senior Hamas military commander Mahmoud Al Mabhouh in his hotel room.
According to the report published by Haaretz, preliminary investigation conducted by Hamas "suggests that the assassination …. was likely carried out by agents of an Arab government, and not by Israel's Mossad spy agency".
The paper went on to claim: "A Hamas source told Haaretz on Monday that Al Mabhouh was wanted by authorities in both Jordan and Egypt, where he previously spent a year in prison."
Hamas officials, however, stressed that no official from the resistance group would give such statements to an Israeli newspaper. Osama Hamdan, Hamas spokesperson in Beirut, said: "This is fabrication… They [Israelis] are aiming to create problem."
Musheer Al Masri, a Hamas official in the Gaza Strip, too, scoffed at the Israeli report. He explained that "investigations were not completed until this moment".
Investigations into the assassination, however, had come a long way and would hopefully be completed in the near future, he said.
Lt Gen Dahi, meanwhile, asserted that investigations into the case are being conducted "in authentic, technical and scientific way".
In a statement carried by WAM, he observed: "Anyone attempting to pass unseen behind our backs, and gets involved in matters that are considered as crimes by the law should protect their own backs."
He added: "This goes for whoever enters the country whether they are from Hamas, Mossad or any other intelligence service."
Dubai Police have not excluded any possible angle in the killing but indicated that the crime points to Mossad involvement.
Few details have emerged so far about the assassination as well as the purpose of Al Mabhouh's visit to Dubai. Haaretz said he had left the hotel "between 4.30 pm and 5.00 pm for a meeting" and that "Hamas claims to know the identity of his Dubai contact".
Hamas officials, however, remained tight-lipped.
"It is difficult for me to give information on this issue in particular," Hamdan replied to a question on Al Mabhouh's visit to Dubai.
"This is a sensitive issue, and is related to the [ongoing] investigations. We are keen that nothing will come out of our side that will distort them [investigations]," he explained.