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Arab press glee over 'Mossad exposed' in Dubai

CCTV footage shows Hamas militant Mahmoud al-Mabhouh before his alleged assassination
Arab media have been following the story of the Hamas militant's killing

Dubai police are praised by Middle East commentators for their investigations into the death of a senior Palestinian militant in Dubai last month, and for apparently unmasking the elite Israeli secret service, Mossad.

The death of Hamas commander Mahmoud al-Mabhouh, allegedly at the hands of an Israeli hit squad, prompts writers to wonder how Israel's allies will react to the reported forgery of their passports.

Commentators also criticise finger-pointing among the rival Palestinian authorities over the alleged involvement of Palestinians in the assassination in the United Arab Emirates.

Fadi Azzam in LONDON-BASED AL-QUDS AL-ARABI

What heroism! What an accomplishment! What professionalism! Dubai police uncovered them and turned them into frightened men… The photos of the entire assassination group were distributed. This secretive, professional, elite killing became a burned asset, a burden to the Mossad, its country and its leaders.

EDITORIAL in LONDON-BASED AL-QUDS AL-ARABI

The damage inflicted on Israel following the terrorist action will be major by all standards… The truth is that the operation was professionally carried out. It was not the work of amateurs. The difference this time is that Dubai's police force was highly professional… We are not sure whether the cabinet of (British Prime Minister Gordon) Brown will act with the same strictness of Conservative (premier Margaret) Thatcher's cabinet in 1987 when it kicked out 13 Israeli diplomats (over the assassination of a Palestinian cartoonist in London).

EDITORIAL in UAE's KHALEEJ TIMES

The assassination… raises questions about the vulnerability of Dubai… Only last year, a Chechen warlord Sulim Yamadayev was killed in an upscale residential area. Lebanese singer Suzanne Tamim's brutal murder, ordered by an Egyptian businessman in 2008, sent shock waves among the residents who pride themselves on their city's safety… It is hoped that a follow-up in this case sets a precedent of deterrence for external players and other criminal groups to refrain from carrying out their operations in the country.

EDITORIAL in UAE's GULF NEWS

If the suspects are found in their homelands or anywhere else, the UAE authorities and Dubai Police will need full co-operation from the authorities in those countries so that the suspects can be returned to the UAE and the investigation taken to its conclusion. Al-Mabhouh was a senior Hamas commander, so his killing has obvious political overtones. Nevertheless, Dubai Police are right to refuse to enter into that discussion, and to treat the killing as a crime that needs solving.

ISAM SHAWIR in PALESTINIAN FILASTIN

The Israeli Mossad used passports that might be genuine or forged of three of the European states supporting it, the UK, Germany and France. Israel did not arbitrarily or mindlessly choose to use the passports of these states, knowing that it can avoid any political crisis with them if it were to be exposed. This reflects Israel's arrogance and belittling of its allies.

HAFITH AL-BARGHUTHI in PALESTINIAN AL-HAYAT AL-JADIDAH

Ever since Hamas commander Mahmoud al-Mabhouh was assassinated, some of the movement's spokesmen have been trying to unjustly accuse the Palestinian National Authority (PNA) as if it was a murderous contractor working for Israel... The PNA never initiated any assassinations against Hamas despite the takeover. There are no people in Fatah or in the other factions who conspire against Hamas's members.

ABD-AL-LAH AWWAD in PALESTINIAN AL-AYYAM

No Palestinian - even if he worked with the PNA, Fatah or the authorities in Dubai - could know information [about al-Mabhouh]. Only Hamas's leadership in Damascus, Dubai or any other place could know the information which the Mossad used in committing the crime. Surely, it would have been better for Hamas to investigate itself because it alone can know who leaked the information.

JIHAD AL-KHAZIN in LONDON-BASED AL-HAYAT

Palestinian leaders have become too stupid to learn a lesson… Instead of a united voice condemning the crime, Hamas and the Palestinian Authority are accusing each other of killing al-Mabhouh, not Israel.

BBC Monitoringselects and translates news from radio, television, press, news agencies and the internet from 150 countries in more than 70 languages. It is based in Caversham, UK, and has several bureaux abroad.



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