Dubai is set to tighten entry criteria for Israeli citizens looking to visit the country.
At present all Israeli citizens are banned from travelling to the United Arab Emirates, which includes Dubai. To circumvent this restriction many Israelis hold dual nationality, employing alternative passports to enter the country.
However, this practice is now set to be outlawed, with Dubai’s police chief confirming all Israeli citizens with dual nationality would now be denied entry.
The change in policy follows the assassination of Hamas commander Mahmoud al-Mabhouh in Dubai on January 20th. Israeli security forces have been implicated in the killing, though the Middle Eastern state has neither denied nor confirmed its involvement.
Lt Gen Dahi Khaflan Tamim said: “Earlier, Israeli dual citizens could easily enter the country even if officials recognised them as Israelis from their accents and traits. But from now on they will be carefully scrutinised, regardless of what passport they hold,” he added.
Addressing a security conference on Monday Lt Gen Tamim attacked Israel, branding it “disgraceful” for allegedly abusing European and other passports as well as UAE soil to assassinate targets.
At present there are no diplomatic ties between the United Arab Emirates and Israel but business travellers have moved relatively freely between the two nations under second passports.
However, the recent assassination – recently attributed to Mossad – has reshaped relations in the region. The founder of the Izzedine al-Qassam Brigades, the military wing of Hamas, Mahmoud al-Mabhouh was reportedly involved in weapons procurement.
He was found dead in a Dubai hotel room on January 20th this year.
Dubai has to date identified 27 suspects in the murder and said they used British, Irish, French and Australian passports.
The countries involved say the passports used by the murder suspects were forged.