JERUSALEM — The diplomatic fallout over the assassination of Hamas leader Mahmoud al-Mabhouh took a new turn Wednesday as Dubai’s police chief announced that he would seek the arrests of Israel’s prime minister and spy chief over the killing.

Though Israel has refused to confirm or deny its involvement in the incident, Police Chief Dahi Khalfan Tamim said he would ask the United Arab Emirates’ prosecutor to file Interpol arrest warrants for the two, adding that he was “completely sure that it was Mossad,” Israel’s intelligence agency.

An international arrest warrant would have serious consequences for Israeli leaders. Officially, the government refused to comment on the calls for arrests, though one Foreign Ministry official said it was “highly unlikely that the arrests will go further than the press room of the Dubai police.”

“They are trying very hard to continue to place pressure on Israel. This will not work, and we do not believe these calls will go anywhere,” the official said. “The general perception is that this will all blow over.” The official spoke only on the condition of anonymity because the ministry won’t speak on the record.

Tamim, however, has made new calls for an investigation into the Mossad, saying the spy agency had “insulted” Dubai and Western countries whose bogus passports were used by the 26 suspects in the assassination.

Until now, the U.S. has avoided the diplomatic row between Israel and those countries, which include Britain, France, Germany, Ireland and Australia. The FBI was drawn into the investigation this week, however, when Dubai police asked it to look into an Iowa-based bank that they suspect the suspects used.

Thirteen of the suspects used prepaid cards issued by Meta Financial Group’s MetaBank to book hotel rooms and plane tickets, Dubai police said.


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