Israeli man named in Hamas murder probe disappears: report
Mon, Feb 22, 2010

JERUSALEM, ISRAEL - An Israeli who shares the name of an alleged member of the death squad that killed a top Hamas militant in Dubai has disappeared, an Israeli newspaper reported on Monday.

Up until Saturday the name Michael Bodenheimer could be seen on a sign at at an office building in the seaside Israeli city of Tel Aviv but the plaque has since been taken down, Israel's mass-selling Yediot Aharonot said.

It published photos of the nameplate to support the claim.

The man has not been been interviewed by media since his name appeared on one of several European passports that Dubai police said were used last month by the killers of Mahmud al-Mabhuh, a Palestinian Hamas commander.

Unlike the other passports, the German passport bearing Bodenheimer's name was apparently not forged, according to a report Saturday in Germany's Der Spiegel magazine.

The passport was delivered in Cologne on June 18, 2009 to an applicant who presented an Israeli passport issued at the end of 2008 and the marriage certificate of his parents, who were persecuted by the Nazis, it said.

Last week Israeli media interviewed another Michael Bodenheimer, an ultra-Orthodox Jew living in another suburb of Tel Aviv, who denied any involvement in the affair.

He also bore no resemblance to the passport photo presented by Dubai police.

The revelation that 11 people involved in the killing had European passports, many of them forged and bearing the names of Israeli citizens, has fueled speculation that Israel's Mossad spy agency was behind the hit.

Britain, Ireland, France and Germany have all summoned Israeli diplomats over the affair, while senior Israeli officials have refused to discuss the matter in line with tradition. --AFP

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