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Israel summons Irish ambassador over Dublin mayor's visit to Jerusalem conference

The fate of the holy city is at the heart of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict [Getty]

Date of publication: 12 April, 2018

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Israel's Foreign Ministry has summoned Ireland's ambassador to express dismay over Dublin's mayor attending an "anti-Israel" event in Ramallah.

Israel's Foreign Ministry has summoned Ireland's ambassador to express dismay over Dublin's mayor attending an "anti-Israel" event in Ramallah.

The ministry said in a statement Thursday that Israel expresses its "deep disappointment and shock" over the incident.

It said the event in the Palestinian city of Ramallah was "explicitly" against Israel and occurred as Israel commemorated Holocaust Memorial Day.

Israel expects a "public and formal" response from Ireland to his conduct, it said.

Micheal Mac Donncha participated in an Islamic conference about Jerusalem in Ramallah organised by the religious affairs adviser to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.

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.

Mac Donncha is a supporter of the BDS movement to boycott the Jewish state.

The BDS - Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions - movement was founded in 2005 with aim of ending Israel's occupation of the West Bank.

Israel had tried to block Mac Donncha's entry though its airport.

In March, Israel passed legislation banning the entry of anyone who supports the boycott due to Israel's settlements in the occupied territories, which are illegal under international law.

The legislation denies permits and residency visas to anyone who has publicly called for a boycott of the country.

Rights groups criticised the law as "thought control" and noted that Israel also controls who enters the Palestinian territories, apart from one border crossing between the Gaza Strip and Egypt.

Israel accuses the boycott movement of being anti-Semitism - a claim activists deny, saying they only want to see an end to Israel's occupation of Palestinian land.

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