It would be difficult to weave as intricate a web as the international spy thriller that first unraveled in Dubai in January. Yet another sinew has been threaded out of the ongoing, worldwide investigation on the killing of Hamas arms procurer Mahmoud Mabhouh.
In recent days, the Australian foreign minister informed the Israeli Embassy that its Mossad station chief, whose identity remains secret, would be leaving the island continent within a week.
Stephen Smith spoke to the Israeli parliament, the Knesset, claiming that the officer in question was "involved in state intelligence." He argued that Australian passports "were deliberately counterfeited and cloned for use" and investigations had proved "beyond doubt" that Israel was involved, reported the Australian publication International Business Times.
Israeli authorities had a warrant out for Mabhouh's arrest, as did the Egyptians and Jordanians. In 1989, Israeli authorities had failed to arrest Mabhouh for his recently confessed participation in the murder of two Israeli soldiers.
Smith concluded that Australia "remains a firm friend of Israel."
However, he lamented, "this is not what we expect from a nation with whom we have had such a close, friendly, and supportive relationship."