Israeli Trade Minister Reacts to International Criticism

Ben-Eliezer: The Germans did an excellent job, as always. I think it was a mistake to reject the offer. Since then the situation has developed to our disadvantage. Hamas is constantly raising the "price". We are ready to release about 1,000 terrorists tomorrow. We only demand that a small part of them will neither go to the Gaza Strip nor the West Bank. They should be expelled to other countries.

SPIEGEL: The hottest issue between Israel and Germany right now pertains to the alleged Mossad agent Uri Brodsky. An international search had been initiated by Germany and the man has now been arrested in Poland. He allegedly assisted another suspected Mossad agent, " Michael Bodenheimer," in obtaining a false German passport which was then used to get into Dubai to liquidate Hamas leader Mahmoud al-Mabhouh. Why does Israel object to Brodsky's extradition to Germany?

Ben-Eliezer: Because we don't think this person has any relation to this act.

Israel Says No to Extradition of Alleged Mossad Agent

SPIEGEL: German investigative authorities would hardly dare to issue an arrest warrant against an Israeli without having clear proof.

Ben-Eliezer: The person is only accused of having used a forged German passport.

SPIEGEL: He is accused of working as a foreign agent on German soil.

Ben-Eliezer: This must be proven and the court will decide whether or not this is true.

SPIEGEL: A German court?

Ben-Eliezer: That remains to be seen. It is our obligation to prevent his extradition. Any other state would do the same. If he needs to be placed before a court, we will see to it that that happens here in Israel. But even if he were ultimately to be put on trial in Germany, that would not have a negative effect on relations between our countries.

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