Mossad chief's tenure may not be extended: report

13:54, June 28, 2010      

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Chief of Israel's intelligence agency Mossad Meir Dagan's tenure will not be extended, reportedly in light of the international criticism aimed at Israel following the January assassination of top Hamas commander Mahmoud al- Mabhouh in Dubai.

Israeli TV Channel 2 News reported over the weekend that Dagan has asked that his term as head of the Israeli spy agency be extended by another year, a request denied by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Dagan, according to the report, is due to step down within three months after eight years on the job.

The Prime Minister's Office issued a statement the following day, refuting the report and saying that Dagan did not ask for an extension. "The prime minister decided last year to extend the head of Mossad's tenure by a year. Since then, no additional decision has been made," the statement read.

Sources in Israel's intelligence community denied claims that the prime minister's decision to retire Dagan was linked to al- Mabhouh's assassination, an operation allegedly carried out by teams of Mossad agents but never confirmed by Israeli authorities. An international outrage ensued evidence presented by Dubai Police that the assassins had used forged passports and fake identities in the operation.

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