Assassination of senior Hamas figure revisited

'Eliminating Mahmoud al-Mabhouh was a success,' former Mossad official Mishka Ben-David notes in new film on the assassination.

Cynthia Blank ,

Mahmoud al-Mabhouh
Mahmoud al-Mabhouh
Flash 90

Mishka Ben-David, a former Mossad official, is set to appear in Yoav Limor's new film "Hisul B'maagal Sagur" (A Closed Circuit Kill) to be broadcast Wednesday night on Israel's popular Channel 2. 

The film recounts the assassination of senior Hamas figure Mahmoud al-Mabhouh in a hotel in Dubai, which is the basis of the new Israeli television series "Kfulim" (Doubles).

Foreign sources widely believe the assassination was carried out by the Mossad, Israel's foreign intelligence agency. 

"I have no idea who conducted the operation," Ben-David was quoted by Channel 2 as saying. "But, in my opinion, it succeeded in eliminating al-Mabhouh."

"The killers took into account that cameras would be operating," he continued. "Duplicate passports (as reported), pseudonyms, glasses, wigs and mustaches were used to avoid detection of those involved in the elimination and I think it was successful."

According to Ben-David, "there has been no big change in the espionage profession since the days Yehoshua bin Nun sent spies to Israel - there is no substitute for human touch," in a reference to the Biblical figure.

"To recruit agents, you need to establish a high level of interpersonal trust," Ben-David contended, "and this can't be done with today's digital means. In this area, I don't see any development or differences in the past 20 years. The base still remains the same."

"Even in success, and especially in failure, the organization conducts intense investigations to the very last detail. During the investigation, every fighter gives his perspective [of what happened] and each participant can make comments in order to draw conclusions and learn from mistakes." 

"In operations such as these, the smallest mistake can be critical and hurt the chances of success," Ben-David concluded.