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Someone assassinated Mahmoud al-Mabhouh, Hamas' liaison officer with Iran and the man responsible for the abduction and murder of Israel Defense Forces soldiers Ilan Sa'adon and Avi Sasportas in the late 1980s.

According to foreign sources, this was an operational action by Israel and its institutions. But Phyrrus of Epirus said of such costly and fleeting achievements: "One more victory like this will be the end of me."

In the two months since Mabhouh's death in his Dubai hotel room, a new Mabhouh has doubtless arisen. No serious damage has been documented in the flow of arms and expertise from Tehran to Gaza. The price of the success has not yet finished being tallied: the exposure of what are supposedly the Mossad's techniques, the inability to use them again until the storm passes, and the request by the Dubai police of Interpol to issue an arrest warrant against the Israelis caught on camera.

Responses against Israel escalated this week with the severe steps Britain took in expelling a Mossad agent, who has diplomatic status, from the embassy in London and presenting Israel as an identity thief that every British citizen should fear.

If that is the case in Britain, it is reasonable to assume that other countries whose passports were used in Dubai - Ireland, Australia, Germany and France - cannot not remain indifferent.

The Mossad is not its own master; It is an emissary of the Israeli government. This statement means nothing when the government does not know what is to be carried out for it and in its name. Military actions are discussed among the prime minister, the defense minister and usually from two to five additional ministers. The Mossad operations are discussed only by the prime minister and the Mossad chief. If IDF assistance is required, the top military brass is brought in to the secret discussions, but without involving it deeply in consideration of strategic aspects.

Mossad chief Meir Dagan should have retired last year, at the end of his seventh year at the helm. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu made a mistake in giving Dagan another year. Operational and political responsibility for the failure attributed to the Mossad in Dubai falls on both of them.

If Netanyahu does not know ahead of meetings with the president and vice president of the United States what is happening in Ramat Shlomo and Sheikh Jarrah, how can we trust he will wisely oversee what is planned in Dubai? The government should appoint a new Mossad head and establish a committee of ministers to oversee those who are supposed to be watching the head of the Mossad.