Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu authorized in early January the assassination of Hamas commander Mahmoud al-Mabhouh in Dubai, according to the Sunday Times. Based on information obtained from "sources with knowledge of Mossad," the newspaper reported that th Israeli leader gave Mossad chief Meir Dagan the green light for the Dubai operation during a meeting at the intelligence agency's headquarters in the northern suburbs of Tel Aviv.
The sources added that the Mossad hit squad trained for the Dubai mission by secretly rehearsing in a Tel Aviv hotel.
Meanwhile, German authorities are examining the identity of Michael Bodenheimer, the name that appeared on a genuine German passport allegedly used in last month's assassination. The authorities in the city of Cologne, where the passport was issued, launched a probe, and federal authorities are now considering a move of their own.
According to German weekly Der Spiegel, Bodenheimer, an Israeli, applied for a German passport from the Cologne authorities. The German passport was issued on June 18, 2009. That document was used by one of the assassination suspects in Dubai on January 19, a day before the killing.