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Britain will expel an Israeli diplomat shortly over the use of forged British passports by suspected killers of a Hamas commander in Dubai, according to the BBC.

The foreign office has declined to comment on media reports but says foreign secretary David Miliband will make a statement imminently.

Israel has neither confirmed nor denied a role in the January killing of Mahmoud Al Mabhouh, a military commander from the Palestinian organisation Hamas, in a Dubai hotel room.

Four Australians – Nicole McCabe, Joshua Bruce, Adam Korman and Joshua Krycer – had their identities stolen and used in fake passports held by suspects of the assassination.

Dubai says the team of assassins also used British, Irish, French and German passports to enter and depart from the state.

Britain’s Sky News says it does not know the level of seniority of the Israeli diplomat who faces expulsion, while the Israeli foreign ministry says it has no immediate comment on the report.

Prime Minister Kevin Rudd has previously criticised the Israeli embassy’s explanation of how Australian passports were used in the murder plot, and the issue has threatened to muddy the relationship between the two countries.

Australian Federal Police travelled to Israel as part of the investigation into the situation.

A former Mossad officer has also alleged the Israeli spy agency has its own “passport factory” to create or doctor passports for use in intelligence operations. ABC

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