Dubai police have a lead in the investigation of the assassination of Hamas strongman Mahmoud al-Mabhouh earlier this week, the London-based newspaper Al-Hayat reported Saturday.
The report comes as the Qatar-based Al-Jazeera television quoted a senior Dubai security official as saying that he wouldn't rule out the possibility that Israeli intelligence was behind the January 20 assassination. Al-Mabhouh is believed to have been involved in the abduction and murder of two Israelis soldiers in 1989.
In another possible attempt to tie Israel with al-Mabhouh's assassination, On Friday, top Hamas official Mahmoud al-Zahar told Al Jazeera that it was possible that members of the entourage of an Israeli ministry were involved in the incident.
In the interview, al-Zahar said it was possible people using fake names and foreign passports had entered Dubai with National Infrastructure Minister Uzi Landau, who visited an energy conference in Dubai almost two weeks ago.
According to the Al-Hayat report on Saturday, recent developments in the investigation have lifted much of the uncertainty in the case, with security sources estimating that arrests are imminent.
A Dubai security source said that while the assassination had been carried out swiftly, its perpetrators left evidence behind that could significantly aid efforts to track them down.
The source added that local police had already contacted Interpol in what could be a joint effort to have the suspects arrested.
On Friday, a Dubai security source identified the suspects in the killing as members of a "criminal gang" that tracked al-Mabhouh before he entered the country.
The source added that most of the suspects have European passports.
Also Friday, exiled Hamas leader Khaled Meshal made an impassionate speech to thousands of Palestinians mourning Mahmoud al-Mabhouh's assassination, which they believe was orchestrated by Israel.
Meshal described al-Mabhouh as a "great man" who fought Israel for 30 years, and warned of reprisals for his death.
"I say to you Zionists, do not rejoice. You killed him but his sons will fight you," he said. "God already took our leaders and loved ones, but resistance goes on. Palestine is a blessed land. It will not remain patient."
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