Israel's long-time super spy Meir Dagan, who heads the country's ultra secretive Mossad, is likely to step down in three months time apparently because of an international furore over the Dubai killing of a top Hamas commander.
Dagan, the chief of Israel's espionage agency has served as Mossad Director since 2002 and was dubbed as the man of the year two years ago by the Israeli media.
But the Dubai fiasco seems to have cast a shadow over his tenure, with the government denying him another extension, after the expiry of his term in 90 days.
Mossad's activities came in for severe international criticism after the January assassination of Hamas commander Mahmoud al-Mabhouh in Dubai, widely believed to have been carried out by Mossad agents using forged foreign passports.
Dagan, who was recently described in the Arab world as the Jewish state's 'superman', is likely to step down in three months after being denied another extension due to the embarrassment caused by the alleged Dubai affair, Israel's Channel 2 reported.
It said the chief spy had requested another year as the head of the intelligence agency, but his request was turned down. The Prime Minister's Office did not comment on the report.
The Mossad chief was appointed to the post by former Prime Minister Ariel Sharon eight years ago and his term was later extended by both Ehud Olmert and current Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for some of the heroic exploits reported in the international media and attributed to the agency.
However, Dagan, dubbed the man of the year two years ago by the Israeli media, faced international criticism after the January assassination of Hamas commander Mahmoud al-Mabhouh in Dubai, which was widely believed to be carried out by Mossad agents using forged foreign passports.
Israel has maintained that there is no proof tying it to the killing of the Hamas commander but the affair caused a lot of embarrassment to the state given that several passports used in the affair belonged to Israelis with dual nationality.
It also led to a diplomatic row with the affected countries, with Ireland and Australia expelling Israeli diplomats over the affair, the Dubai police calling for Dagan's resignation, and Britain expelling a Mossad official.