Dubai says it will deny all Israelis entry following the murder of a senior Hamas militant, and warns that Israelis with dual nationality would be recognised by ‘the way they speak’.
“We respect all people and all religions, whether they are Muslims, Jews, Christians or others,” Dahi Khalfan Tamim said when asked about comments he made that “all Jews” would be prevented from entering Dubai.
Police would “develop skills” to recognise Israelis by “physical features and the way they speak,” The Australian reported Tamim as saying.
The head of the Executive Council of Australian Jewry, Robert Goot, said Dubai had no way of knowing if a Westerner entering the United Arab Emirates was Israeli with dual citizenship, The Australian reported.
The move comes after a diplomatic row sparked by the use of apparently forged Western passports – including three Australian ones – in the assassination of a Hamas commander in a luxury Dubai hotel.
Khalfan said he was certain Israel’s intelligence service Mossad was behind the assassination of Hamas chief Mahmud al-Mabhuh.
“I am now completely sure that it was Mossad,” he said.
Mabhuh, a founder of the Palestinian Islamist Hamas organisation’s military wing, was found dead in his Dubai hotel room on January 20.
“I have presented the (Dubai) prosecutor with a request for the arrest of (Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin) Netanyahu and the head of Mossad,” Meir Dagan, the police chief said.
Two members of the hit squad which killed Mabhuh had “returned to the United States after passing through a European country,” said Dhalfan, who on Monday said the suspects were hiding out in Israel where they could avoid arrest.
Twelve British, six Irish, four French, three Australian and one German passports were used by 26 named suspects, according to Dubai police, who say they fled the Gulf emirate on flights to Europe and Asia.
Israeli officials have refused to confirm or deny the charges against Mossad but the killing has caused a diplomatic headache for the Jewish state with the states whose passports were used summoning its envoys to hear angry protests.