EU-Israel: Union and Tel Aviv on collision course
19 February 2010
"The assassination of a Hamas leader in Dubai has prompted a diplomatic crisis between Israel and the EU," announces El País. The Spanish daily reports that the "use of 11 forged British, Irish, French and German passports" by Mossad agents responsible for the January killing of Mahmoud al Mabouh has sparked "a fresh dispute" with four European governments, who "have demanded an explanation" from Israel. UK Foreign Secretary David Miliband has announced that Israel must understand that the forging of passports is more than a bilateral issue with the UK, but a dispute "between Tel Aviv and Europe." Dublin has demanded that the four governments take collective action. This latest incident has contributed to what El País describes as the on-going deterioration of EU-Israel relations: in 2004 a secret report leaked from the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced that the EU and Israel were on "a collision course". The current crisis comes in the wake of an arrest warrant issued by a British judge in December 2009 against Tzipi Livni, Israel's former minister of foreign affairs, for her role in the 2008 Gaza war.