The latest developments in the Australia/Israeli passport scandal:
A terrified Australian woman whose identity was used in the assassination of a top Hamas official says the federal government has not yet offered her any help.
Pregnant Nicole McCabe, 27, said she had no idea how her identity was stolen, as she still had her Australian passport in her Tel Aviv apartment, where she lives with husband Tsahi Look.
Australian authorities have not yet contacted Ms McCabe over the revelations she is among three Australians whose stolen identities were used in the killing of senior Hamas operative Mahmud al-Mabhuh in a Dubai hotel room last month.
“I don’t understand why nobody has called me to offer help from the government,” Ms McCabe told News Limited.
“Nobody. Not one phone call.
“I’m surprised the embassy has not contacted me. I’m going to call them tomorrow to ask for help.
“I’m terrified. I haven’t slept and I’m shaky.
“I’m worried for my health and I’m worried for my baby’s health.
“I have no idea how they got hold of my passport, Obviously it’s not my photo.
Ms McCabe, who is six months pregnant, has lived in Israel for two-and-a-half years and last left six months ago when she visited Australia and Thailand.
Joshua Bruce and Adam Korman also had their identities stolen and used in fake passports held by the alleged assassins.
Mossad, Israel’s secret service, is believed to be behind the organised hit.
And now Prime Minister Kevin Rudd has toned down his language against Israel:
Australia is not satisfied with Israeli explanations about the fraudulent use of Australian passports in the assassination of a Hamas operator, Prime Minister Kevin Rudd says.
Mr Rudd said today the federal government had to “proceed very carefully” in the controversy because of its complex security nature.
Israeli’s ambassador to Australia was summoned on Thursday for an urgent meeting with Foreign Minister Stephen Smith.
“When it comes to Australian passport fraud or the use and abuse of Australian passports, this government has an absolutely hard line on defending the integrity of our passport system because millions of the travelling public depend on that each year,” Mr Rudd told reporters in Adelaide on Saturday.
“That is why the foreign minister has called in the Israeli ambassador and asked for an explanation.
“Thus far we are not satisfied with that explanation.”
Assassins with suspected links to the Israeli spy agency Mossad are believed to have stolen the identities of three Victorians.
The suspects were then involved in the murder of senior Hamas operator Mahmud al-Mabhuh in a Dubai luxury hotel on January 20.
Mr Rudd sidestepped criticism from one of the three Australians involved that they had not been contacted by Australian officials.
Nicole McCabe, 27, said she had no idea how her identity was stolen, as she still had her Australian passport in her Tel Aviv apartment, where she lives with husband.
Mr Rudd said: “My advice is that Australian officials have been in contact with a range of those associated with the most recent matters.
“Because these involve very complex and security intelligence matters, we have to proceed very carefully.
“I am just weighing my words very carefully.
“I wish to tread very carefully with the security and intelligence matters which arise in relation to each of the individuals and families concerned with this matter.
“Therefore I’m choosing my words very carefully so as not to compromise any person or so as not to compromise any continuing investigation.”