Australia warned Israel Thursday of a possible diplomatic rift if Israel condoned the use of fraudulent Australian passports in the killing of a Hamas leader.
Israel's ambassador was given the warning after it was learned that three Australian passports were used by members of an alleged assassination crew connected to the recent slaying of a Hamas leader in a Dubai hotel room, Australia's Foreign Minister Stephen Smith said Thursday.
"I made it crystal clear to the ambassador that if the results of that investigation cause us to come to the conclusion that the abuse of Australian passports was in any way sponsored or condoned by Israeli officials, then Australia would not regard that as the act of a friend, "Smith said Thursday. " We would not regard that as the act of a friend."
The stern statement from Smith is part of the growing international diplomatic tiff stemming from the January 20 killing of Mahmoud al-Mabhouh, a founding member of Hamas' military wing. Read more .