Danna Harman, Liel Kyzer
February 17, 2010 - 1:00am

At least five Israelis awoke Tuesday morning to find their names tied to the assassination of senior Hamas operative Mahmoud al-Mabhouh in his Dubai hotel room last month. All were stunned to find their names displayed on passports that police in the emirate said were used by the assailants.

However, the people pictured in the photos released by police looked nothing like them. All denied involvement in the affair.

"I'm in shock - I just don't understand how something like this could happen," said Paul John Keeley, a British-born repairman who lives on Kibbutz Nahsholim, near Zichron Yaakov. Keeley's name appeared on the British passport Dubai authorities said belonged to one of the hit men.

"From the moment I heard about it I was very worried. I'm worried for my family," said Keeley, who immigrated to Israel more than a decade ago. "The fact that it was my name that was published in this context makes me worry that someone will try to harm us."

Keeley, 43 and a father of three, said Tuesday his passport was in his possession before, on and after January 20, the day Mabhouh was assassinated.

"I don't know who a person calls when his identity is stolen," he said. "I'm waiting for someone from the British or Israeli government to contact me and give me answers. I don't understand how something like this could happen."

Dubai authorities said 11 European-passport holders were behind the assassination, and on Monday it published their names and photos. The list included six people with British passports, three with Irish passports, and one each from France and Germany.

Stephen Daniel Hodes, another British-Israeli whose personal data reportedly appeared in one of the assassins' passports, told Channel 2 Tuesday, "I was in total shock. I don't know what's happening - I don't know how they got to me or my information. I haven't left the country in about two years, and I've never been to Dubai. I don't know who was behind this. It's just scary, because powerful forces are involved in this."

"We are quiet people, and that person doesn't look like my husband," Hodes' wife said, adding, "My husband is far more handsome."

Melvyn Adam Mildiner, another immigrant from Britain whose name was listed, said he was "angry, upset and scared."

"I woke up this morning to a world of fun," he said sarcastically.

Michael Bodenheimer, who immigrated to Israel from the United States more than 20 years ago, lives in Bnei Brak and studies at a kollel, a yeshiva for married men. He too was astounded to see the UAE list contained his name, supposedly belonging to a German citizen.

"At first we didn't understand what everyone was talking about," Bodenheimer's daughter said. "The picture that was published doesn't look like him at all. He busies himself with Torah study," she said, adding that he holds no citizenship other than Israeli and American.

Another of the 11 names authorities cited was Michael Lawrence Barney. Tuesday he told Channel 10: "I have nothing to say. This is a mistake and it's identity theft, but it's not me, that's for sure."

Meanwhile, Ireland's Department of Foreign Affairs said Tuesday that the three Irish passport-holders accused of taking part in the assassination do not exist.

The three identified Monday as Gail Folliard, Evan Dennings and Kevin Daveron do not appear in Ireland's records of legitimate passport-holders, the Irish government said.

"We are unable to identify any of those three individuals as being genuine Irish citizens. Ireland has issued no passports in those names," the department said in a statement.

The government added that the Irish passport numbers publicized by Dubai authorities are counterfeit, because they have the wrong number of digits and contain no letters.

British government sources told the Daily Telegraph earlier Tuesday that the Irish passport-holders were most likely Mossad agents carrying false documentation.

Also Tuesday, the Jordanian government confirmed that it had extradited two Palestinians to the United Arab Emirates in connection with the assassination. "We handed over two men holding Palestinian nationality over the past few days to the UAE authorities," Minister of State for Media Affairs Nabil Sharif said in a statement. "The extradition took place in accordance with observed legal and official rules and the relevant bilateral agreements."

Sharif declined to divulge the identity or the affiliations of the Palestinians, saying "it was up to the UAE authorities to do so."


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