Dubai would seek the arrest of Israel's prime minister if it found evidence intelligence service Mossad was behind the killing of a senior Hamas official, its police chief said. Hamas has blamed Israel for killing Mahmoud al-Mabhouh, one of its top military commanders, in a Dubai hotel last month.
Israel has declined to comment. Police in the United Arab Emirates have said they suspect a foreign "criminal gang" of killing Mabhouh in his hotel room, and are looking into the possible involvement of Israel's spy agency. Dubai's police chief, Dahi Khalfan Tamim, told The National daily that the head of the Israeli government would be held personally responsible if Mossad were implicated. "Benjamin Netanyahu, the Israeli prime minister, will be the first to be wanted for justice as he would have been the one who signed the decision to kill al-Mabhouh in Dubai."
Like most Arab countries, the UAE has no diplomatic ties with Israel and Israelis are routinely denied entry.
Infrastructure minister Uzi Landau attended a renewable energy conference in the UAE last month, the first visit by an Israeli minister. Hamas officials said that they believed the assassins may have accompanied Landau, something the UAE authorities vehemently denied.
Hamas also threatened to retaliate in the “appropriate manner and right place”.
Analysis and Forecast: Increasing Risk
The assassination of a senior Hamas leader in Dubai makes Dubai the scene of a difficult war between Hamas and Israel. The fact that the assassination happened in Dubai has made Dubai draw significant criticism from Hamas and its supporters, some even suggesting complacency. Whilst Hamas is not expected to undertake action against Dubai, it may well target Israeli-linked targets in Dubai, further complicating the security situation in the emirate.
Dubai prides itself as one of the safest places in the region and with this assassination, a new security threat has opened.