Israel probing how pro-boycott Irish mayor came despite ban

Teens back in court over spate of taxi robberies. Stock image

Lord Mayor Micheal Mac Donncha entered Israel on his way to the West Bank for a conference Wednesday night on the disputed status of Jerusalem.

Israel on Thursday registered a formal protest against the unauthorized visit of the Dublin mayor at an anti-Israel conference in Ramallah, The Times of Israel reported.

The Lord Mayor of Dublin Micheál Mac Donncha narrowly avoided detention and expulsion by Israeli authorities when he landed at Ben Gurion Airport in the country.

Sources described the meeting between the Irish ambassador and Israeli officials as "frosty", with the Foreign Ministry looking for a statement of support from the Government here.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who is also foreign minister, wrote on Facebook that he had instructed the ministry to hold a "clarification discussion" with Mac Donncha.

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

The Israeli government refuses to recognize Palestine as an independent political and diplomatic entity and continues to build settlements in occupied areas, despite objections from the United Nations.

Israel had tried to block his entry through its airport.

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