Hamas assassination: Dubai ban on Israeli dual citizens ups pressure
The decision in Dubai to ban Israeli dual citizens is part of a calculated campaign to provoke and pressure Israel following the Hamas assassination in January.
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Because the UAE lacks diplomatic relations with Israel, it has few means to pressure the country except through other countries and through international public opinion. The lack of relations also means Israelis traveling on Israeli passports are not allowed to enter the UAE, although exceptions have been made. It was unclear if the travel ban on Israeli dual citizens applied to the entire UAE or only to Dubai.Skip to next paragraph
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Rather than relying on appearances and accents to identify Israeli citizens, says Dr. Karasik, Dubai authorities will likely improve their system for checking passports, including using biometric data.
Police can also identify dual nationals after they enter the country by tracking where they congregate and where their businesses have tended to be located, he adds.
Leveraging international pressure
Throughout the investigation, Tamim has also talked up the cooperation Dubai has received from Europe and Australia, whose forged passports were used in the assassination plot. He has called on their governments to investigate the matter thoroughly and to help arrest the suspects after warrants were issued for them on Interpol.
“The European countries and the UAE have to cooperate to collect evidence to condemn Israel,” says Mustafa al Ani, head of security and defense studies at the Gulf Research Center in Dubai. “If not legally, then politically.”
On Tuesday Australia said it would send a team to Israel to meet with three citizens there whose second passports were used by suspected members of the hit squad. Britain sent a special police investigator a few days earlier to interview eight British-Israeli dual nationals who also had their identities stolen.
Dubai police have asked the US Federal Bureau of Investigation to look into the use of prepaid credit cards issued by an American bank, according to UAE-based newspaper The National.
The European Union and Australia condemned the forgery of passports last week, with the EU issuing a statement criticizing their use and Australian Foreign Minister Stephen Smith saying it would not be considered “the act of a friend.”
The diplomatic row may not have long-term repercussions for the nations’ generally friendly relations with Israel.
Nonetheless, for Dubai, says Mr. Ani, “the policy is to internationalize the pressure on Israel.”