London – A month-and-a-half after the United Kingdom expelled the Mossad representative in London over Israel’s alleged forging of UK passports used in the assassination of Hamas man Mahmoud al-Mabhouh in Dubai, Britain refuses to allow a new representative to enter the country, Yedioth Ahronoth has learned.
The paper reported on Tuesday that London’s refusal to accept a new Mossad rep comes despite prior understandings between the two countries, according to which the UK would allow a new representative to take the place of the one that was expelled.
The British condition the arrival of a new Mossad representative on an Israeli commitment, in writing, that no further use of British passports would be made by the intelligence agency in its operations.
Israel has so far abstained from signing such a document, as this may be interpreted as a confession to the use of forged British passports in the Dubai assassination.
Israeli security establishment officials are concerned with the stalemate in ties between the Israeli and British intelligence agencies. It is estimated that the affair will only be resolved, if at all, after the upcoming elections in the United Kingdom.
Jerusalem is closely following political developments ahead of Thursday’s British election. Israeli analysts believe that if the Liberal Democrat party becomes a significant component of the new government, this will have a bad influence on ties with Israel, as the party supports a boycott on Israel.
If the Conservative Party is elected to form the government, this could lead to an improvement in ties with Israel, and the possible restoration of relations between the two nations’ intelligence agencies.
A Foreign Office spokesperson said in response to the story: “We have had no approach from the Israelis about a replacement. However we look to Israel to rebuild the trust we believe is required for the full and open relationship we would like. We have asked for specific assurances from Israel, which would clearly be a positive step towards rebuilding that trust. Any Israeli request for the diplomat to be replaced would be considered against the context of these UK requests.”