Britain to investigate passport ordeal in Israel

JERUSALEM Sat Feb 27, 2010 12:04pm EST

The father of senior Hamas military commander Mahmoud al-Mabhouh poses with a picture of his son outside his family's house in Jabalya in the northern Gaza Strip February 22, 2010. REUTERS/Mohammed Salem

The father of senior Hamas military commander Mahmoud al-Mabhouh poses with a picture of his son outside his family's house in Jabalya in the northern Gaza Strip February 22, 2010.

Credit: Reuters/Mohammed Salem

JERUSALEM (Reuters) - The British embassy in Israel said an investigator was flown in this week to interview 10 dual Israeli-British citizens whose British passports may have been used in the assassination of a Hamas commander in Dubai.

Dubai authorities have identified at least 26 people suspected of involvement in last month's killing of Mahmoud al-Mabhouh from the Palestinian Islamist group, saying many of them used fraudulent European and Australian passports.

At least six Britons with the same names as members of the alleged hit team live in Israel and say their identities were stolen.

The investigator will speak to the individuals when they come to the embassy to collect new passports, an embassy spokesman told Reuters. He provided no further details about the British probe.

Israel has officially remained silent on the January 20 assassination, though its foreign minister said there was nothing to link it to the killing.

(Writing by Ari Rabinovitch; Editing by Jon Hemming)

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