Police investigating the killing of Hamas leader Mahmoud al-Mabhouh in Dubai have informed British authorities that two additional suspects used British passports to enter the Gulf emirate. Another two suspects holding Irish passports also took part in the plot, police said.
Dubai police had already announced the identities of 11 suspects widely thought to be members of Israel's secret service Mossad.
Among them, six used false British passports based on the identities of six Israeli citizens living in Israel who also hold British passports. Irish, German and French passports were also used.
Israel has so far refused to comment on whether its agents carried out the killing of Mabhouh in his Dubai hotel room last month. But the British government has condemned the illegal use of its passports and has been pressing Israel to come clean on its alleged role in the affair.
The latest revelations are likely to add to tensions between Israel and the British and other European governments. Israel's outspoken, right-wing foreign minister Avigdor Lieberman hosted meetings Monday with his British and Irish counterparts at the European Union headquarters in Brussels.
Lieberman reportedly was unable or unwilling to offer more information. After his meeting with Irish Foreign Minister Michael Martin, he would only say, "The Arabs have a tendency to blame Israel for anything that happens in the Middle East."
British Foreign Minister David Milliband said Lieberman told him "he had no information at this stage.
"I set out the seriousness of the issue to Britain ... and the importance we attach for Britain and Israel to cooperate. That's why I think that it is right to take these issues to the highest level in Israel," he said.
The European Union issued a protest statement Monday against the use of E.U. passports in the killing.
"The E.U. strongly condemns the fact that those involved in this action have used fraudulent E.U. member states' passports and credit cards acquired through the theft of E.U. citizens' identities," it said.
The statement did not mention Israel by name but officials told reporters it was assumed Israel was responsible.
In London, Israel's new minister for public diplomacy, Yuri Edelstein, said Europeans should not be upset at Mabhouh's death.
"We are talking about the worst murderer in one of the worst terrorist organizations, so let's not get overly emotional about his death," he told the Daily Telegraph.