Israelis Banned in Dubai

Published: March 2nd 2010

Dubai Airport
Pic: WikiMedia Commons

Dubai police has announced that people who are “suspected of being Israeli” will not be allowed to enter Dubai, even if they use a foreign passport. The news was announced by Dubai’s police chief Lt. Gen. Dahi Khalfan Tamin in a news conference on Monday.


The decision comes as a direct result of the assassination of senior Hamas official Mahmoud al-Mabhouh, who was assassinated in his Dubai hotel room in January. Dubai police have blamed Israel’s Mossad spy agency for the killing, and have released the names and photos of at least 26 suspects who were believed to have been involved in the killing. All the names released are of people who hold dual citizenships.


It is unclear whether the announcement will have an effect on any relations between Israel and Dubai, since Israel and the Emirates do not have diplomatic relations. However, the decision is likely to affect Israeli businessmen as many of them conduct business in Dubai and travel there frequently, using a foreign passport.


Now, according to Tamim, the Emirates “will deny entry to anyone suspected of having Israeli citizenship,” Ynet News reported, which will undoubtedly be problematic for Israeli businessmen wishing to do business in Dubai. At the same time, Tamim was quoted Tuesday by AFP as saying "We respect all people and all religions," meaning that although passport control will be stricter, Dubai does not discriminate against Jews.


Australia announced on Monday that it would be sending investigators to Israel to question three Israelis holding dual Australian-Israeli citizenships who were mentioned by Dubai in connection with the Mabhouh killing, in order to find out whether its’ citizens passports were forged. Israel approved the official request submitted by the embassy in Canberra and a diplomatic source in Israel told Haaretz that Israel will cooperate with the investigation.


Meanwhile, an Al-Quds Al-Araby report quoted in Haaretz on Tuesday, says that Hamas actually suspects Jordan or Egypt as being behind the Mabhouh assassination. Mahmoud Nasser, a member of Hamas' political bureau who worked closely with Mabhouh, said that Mabhouh was likely being followed by Jordanian and Egyptian agents prior to the killing. He also said that he had been given information regarding such efforts to kill Mabhouh.


Nasser claimed that Mabhouh was in possession of information that is seen as dangerous to particular Arab elements seeking to topple Islamist resistance.

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