In a statement this week European Union ministers called the January killing of Hamas terrorist and weapons smuggler Mahmoud al-Mabhouh “profoundly disturbing.” While they never mentioned Israel by name (and it is unlikely that indisputable proof will ever emerge that Israel’s Mossad agency was responsible for the death) they railed against the use by al-Mabhouh’s assassins of falsified EU passports, saying it violated EU citizen rights, and they denounced the execution as not being “conducive to peace and stability” in the Middle East.
Also breaking news this week have been reports from Dubai police that the tally of people who used fake passports prior to the killing was up by four, bringing the total to 14.
But both points are red herrings meant to distract the world community from the real issue at hand: that it was a security threat, a hardened terrorist with the blood of innocents on his hands, who was killed. Noticeably absent from any official’s statements on the matter has been denunciation of the assassinated, a Muslim Brotherhood member and a co-founder of Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades, the armed branch of Hamas. Al-Mabhouh was behind the 1989 murder of two young Israeli soldiers and had long been involved in the smuggling of rockets from Iran to the Gaza Strip, according to Israeli officials. In fact, he was likely on a terror-related mission in Dubai at the time of his death. (Dubai is a popular meet-up locale for Iranian cash and goods transfers to Hamas.)
Dozens of Israeli civilians have been killed by rocket fire from Gaza, and since the 2005 Israeli troop withdrawal from the area more than 4,500 rockets have been launched at southern Israel. These attacks are a daily threat to residents in the region, thousands of whom have fled in recent years for more northerly towns.
It is shameful that not one EU official has broken rank and pointed out that the death of al-Mabhouh was deserved, likely saved many lives and was therefore a public service. As the Israeli newspaper Yediot Ahronot journalist Eitan Haber wrote on Feb. 18:
“There are two questions we need to ask in this case: Was the objective – assassinating Mabhouh – achieved? The answer is yes. Were the assassins nabbed by the enemy? The answer is no.”
We say, mission accomplished.