Mossad chief seen as indispensable on Iran

JERUSALEM (JTA) — Israel has not claimed responsibility for the
assassination in Dubai of top Hamas arms smuggler Mahmoud Mabhouh, but
the killing is raising questions about whether it will compromise
Israel’s effort to stop Iran from obtaining the bomb.

That’s because one of the key figures behind the effort, Mossad chief
Meir Dagan, is coming under heavy criticism for the sloppy operation in

Operating under the assumption that Israel was behind the Dubai hit,
some Israeli analysts are calling for Dagan’s ouster. They say the
Mossad has adopted an irresponsible, trigger-happy approach to fighting
terrorism, and they point to the diplomatic imbroglio facing Israel for
the use of fake British and Irish passports by members of the hit squad,
who traveled under the names of European citizens now living in Israel.

Dagan’s tenure at the Mossad is up for renewal at the end of the

Defenders of Dagan point to the long list of Mossad achievements in
the war on terrorism and the campaign against Iran’s nuclear program,
and argue that his tenure at the intelligency agency should be extended
for an unprecedented fourth time. They insist that his knowledge of the
Iranian theater is unmatched, and that as the clock reaches zero hour on
the Iranian nuclear threat, his input will be invaluable — and not
only for Israel.

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