Israel protests over Dublin mayor's visit to Palestine
JERUSALEM - A senior Israeli official on Thursday formally complained to Ireland's ambassador over the activities of Dublin's mayor and his participation in a Palestinian conference, the foreign ministry said.
Deputy director general Rodica Radian-Gordon "expressed her amazement and deep disappointment at the fact that the mayor chose to participate in a blatantly anti-Israel event", the ministry said in a statement.
Lord Mayor Micheal Mac Donncha entered Israel on his way to the Israeli-occupied West Bank for a conference Wednesday night on the disputed status of Jerusalem.
Although he was officially barred from entry for alleged anti-Israel activity, he passed unchallenged through immigration at Tel Aviv airport late Tuesday, reportedly due to a clerical error.
Both Israel and the Palestinians claim Jerusalem as their capital.
Its Palestinian eastern sector was captured by Israel in the 1967 Six-Day War and subsequently annexed to the Jewish state.
Palestinians want it as the capital of a future state of their own.
The Israeli statement quoted Radian-Gordon as saying Mac Donncha's Ramallah visit was "particularly jarring" as it took place on Holocaust remembrance day, which Israel marked from sunset Wednesday.
It added that the Jewish state "expects a public and official Irish response to the conduct of the council of its capital city and particularly its head, who are conducting a campaign of discrimination and hatred against the state of Israel".
Israel ordered a probe Wednesday into how Mac Donncha was allowed into the country.
Israeli daily Haaretz said the ban order sent to airport immigration officials misspelled Mac Donncha's name and he did not therefore show up on the watch list.
The paper said he has ties with the Ireland Palestine Solidarity Campaign, which promotes a boycott of Israeli businesses and foreign firms which trade in the Jewish state.
Israel's interior ministry and strategic affairs ministry blamed each other for the mixup, it said.
Air and sea passengers travelling to the West Bank must pass through Israel, while the land border between the territory and Jordan is controlled by Israeli security and immigration officials.