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Israeli spies expelled from Jordan

Jordan has expelled the entire intelligence mission from the Israeli Embassy in Amman following Israel's attempt to assassinate a leading Islamic militant in the Jordanian capital, Israeli media reported Friday.

The head of the Mossad mission and his agents have returned home "on the express orders of King Hussein" even though Israel says they were not involved in the Sept. 25 attempt to kill Khalid Mashaal, Israel army radio said.Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's adviser dismissed the report as baseless.

Two Mossad agents who had flown to Amman from Israel were caught after they injected Mashaal with poison. Four other agents who assisted in the operation sought refuge in the Israeli Embassy. The six were returned to Israel in a swap that led to the release of Hamas founder Ahmed Yassin and 20 other Jordanian and Palestinian prisoners.

The Jordanians believe that the head of the Mossad, Maj. Gen. Danny Yatom, bears the main responsibility for the decision to carry out a clandestine operation on Jordanian soil, the radio said. Jordan decided to break off all contact with the Mossad as long as Yatom remains at the head of the agency, the radio said.