Sunday 20 May 2018

Martin fears fallout from 'Irish' link to Hamas killing

Ralph Riegel and Shane Phelan

FOREIGN Affairs Minister Micheal Martin last night admitted he is concerned that some nations may now believe genuine Irish passport holders were involved in the assassination of a Hamas commander.

Mr Martin made the comments amid the continuing fall-out from the assassination of Mahmoud al-Mabhouh in Dubai last month, during which up to six fake Irish passports were used by suspects.

Dubai authorities have blamed Mossad, the Israeli secret service, for the murder.

Israel has refused to confirm or deny responsibility.

Mr Martin described how, during a press conference on his visit to Gaza this week, he was asked by one Arab reporter how he felt "about an Irish citizen being involved in a killing".

"You can see how very quickly in other parts of the world this is spun and misinterpreted to the detriment of Irish travellers and European travellers."

The diplomatic row deepened last night after it emerged that US and German credit cards were also used by the suspected assassins.

Thirteen credit cards were issued by MetaBank, which is based in Iowa, South Dakota and Nebraska, and one was issued by Germany's DZ Bank.

Meanwhile, a bomb scare at the Israeli Embassy yesterday turned out to be a false alarm.

An Army bomb disposal team was called out after a suspect object was spotted in a hedge close to the building in Dublin's Ballsbridge. But the object turned out to be a tin of paint with a glove sticking out of it.

Irish Independent

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