Israeli foreign minister Avigdor Lieberman yesterday flatly rebuffed David Miliband’s request for cooperation with an investigation into the use of forged British passports in the assassination of a Hamas leader.
The request for assistance came as the total number of fake British passports believed to have been used in last month’s assassination rose from six to eight. But private discussions on the sidelines of an EU meeting in Brussels – and an identical request from Irish foreign minister Micheál Martin – yielded no concessions on the Israeli side.
A statement from Mr Lieberman’s office reiterated that there was “no proof” of Israeli involvement in the affair. “If someone would present information beyond articles in the media, we would relate to it,” he is said to have told Mr Miliband. “But since there is no such information, there is no need to deal with the matter.”
Mr Miliband, meanwhile, said simply that he had “set out for the foreign minister the seriousness of the issue”. Israel also came under pressure from a joint statement by the EU foreign ministers that “strongly condemned” the use of forged passports, although it did not mention Israel by name.
Israel’s position forces the UK to decide whether tensions over the passport use will escalate into a crisis that could affect bilateral relations. The Israel… >>>