Mossad has used foreign passports in its covert operations before and it has damaged relations with friendly countries. In 1997 it used two Canadian passports in the botched assassination attempt of Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal in the Jordanian capital of Amman. The incident upset both the Canadian and Jordanian governments.
Despite official silence at home, the Israeli press has given prominent coverage to the affair. Israel's ability to reach its enemies far from its own territory has long appealed to the public.
There has been a mix of admiration for the clinical professionalism shown in the Dubai operation, and concern that too many clues were left behind.
One of Israel's leading columnists wrote that the assassination "was an operational success but a strategic failure."
From the series of targeted killings carried out in response to the murder of Israeli athletes at the 1972 Olympic Games in Munich to a spree of car bombings and sniper attacks in recent years, "the Israelis have never really stopped assassinations," said former CIA officer Robert Baer. "They've just gotten better at it."