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Dublin Lord Mayor signs document saying he will not enter Israel again without government permission

Efforts were made to refuse Mícheál Mac Donncha entry to the country.

DUBLIN LORD MAYOR Mícheál Mac Donncha has signed a form saying that he will not return to Israel without getting permission from the government, after efforts were made to refuse him entry to the country this week.

Israel’s Strategic Affairs Ministry on Wednesday told Haaretz it would ban the Sinn Féin councillor from the country when his plane landed over his supposed ties to the Ireland Palestine Solidarity Campaign.

However at that time, Mac Donncha was already in a Ramallah hotel. The Sinn Féin politician visited Ramallah at the invitation of the Palestinian Authority for a major conference on the status of the City of Jerusalem.

It is understood that Mac Donncha was able to enter the country due to a spelling mistake by Israeli authorities. Officials had mistaken his title – Ardmhéara Mícheál MacDonncha – as his full name.

His visit has received widespread attention in Israel and Ireland, with the Lord Mayor coming in for strong criticism from Jewish groups.

Maurice Cohen of the Jewish Representative Council of Ireland yesterday strongly criticised Mac Donncha’s attendance at the conference, while Israeli ministers and the ambassador to Ireland have also hit out at the Lord Mayor.

Israel has also taken issue with recent motions taken by Dublin City Councillors in relation to Israel and Palestine.

Two motions passed at the monthly council meeting on Monday called for the Israeli ambassador to be expelled and pledged support to the boycott of Israel.

Harretz quoted Israeli Strategic Affairs Minister Gilad Erdan as saying that “the policy I set is clear: He who works consistently to boycott Israel will not enter here.”

Haaretz diplomatic correspondent Noa Landau this morning tweeted a video supplied by the Israeli Immigration Authority which shows Mac Donncha signing a document watched over by an Israeli official.

The signed document commits that Mac Donncha will not enter the country again with first securing permission from the Population and Immigration Authority.

It reads:

“I Mac Donncha Michael (signed) holder of ireland nationality… hereby declare that I was informed by the Population and Immigration Authority (“the Authority”) that should I wish to enter Israel in the future I am required to request permission from the Authority in advance.

I am aware that if I do not act accordingly my entry to Israel may be refused.

TheJournal.ie has contacted Mac Donncha for comment.

Yesterday, he said efforts to refuse his entry to the country were an attempt to silence critics of Israel.

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Cormac Fitzgerald

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