Ireland expels Israeli diplomat

Poles reportedly will ask a court to extradite Uri Brodsky.

By
June 16, 2010 04:04
3 minute read.
CCTV footage from Dubai.

dubai cctv 311. (photo credit: AP)

Ireland joined the ranks of Britain and Australia on Tuesday and expelled an Israeli diplomat as punishment for allegedly using forged passports in the assassination of Mahmoud al-Mabhouh in Dubai in January.

“The misuse of Irish passports by a state with which Ireland enjoys friendly, if sometimes frank, bilateral relations is clearly unacceptable and requires a firm response,” Irish Foreign Minister Micheal Martin said as he announced the expulsion.

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Martin also condemned Israel’s alleged assassination of Mabhouh.

“Many allegations have been made against Mr. Mabhouh which, if true, would categorize him as a committed terrorist,” Martin said. “The Irish government does not believe that states should fight terror with terror. As a matter of principle, Ireland opposes extrajudicial killings. We believe that states have a duty to operate according to the law and to respect that way of life that terrorists seek to destroy.”

One Israeli official responded to Martin’s comment by saying, “If and when Ireland will come to face a cruel enemy dedicated to its total obliteration by all means, only then will there be any moral authority to the preaching coming out of Dublin.”

Polish prosecutors to ask for Brodsky's extradition

Meanwhile, Bloomberg reported Tuesday that Polish prosecutors would probably ask a court on Wednesday to turn over an Israeli citizen, who goes by the name of Uri Brodsky, to Germany. The man was arrested in Warsaw earlier this month and wanted for allegedly forging a German passport in connection with the Mabhouh assassination.

“The motion is being prepared and may be submitted to the court already tomorrow,” after which a judge will have 40 days to consider it, Monika Lewandowska, a spokeswoman for the Warsaw prosecutor’s office, told Bloomberg Tuesday.

The name of the diplomat being expelled from Ireland, meanwhile, was not released, but is believed to be a low-level diplomat at the Israeli Embassy in Dublin. While Britain and Australia reportedly expelled the Mossad station representative in their capitals, Israel is not believed to have a Mossad representative in Dublin.

Martin, in a radio interview in Ireland, said, “We haven’t reached conclusive, defining evidence, in terms of how they actually [forged passports], but clearly they stole information from Irish passports, which placed our citizens at risk and undermined the integrity of the Irish passport system, and those were the two biggest issues we were most concerned about.”

Martin said Israel had neither admitted nor denied any involvement.

Asked why a diplomat was being expelled who was not involved in the matter, Martin said, “this is a firm and decisive and reasonable response, and very similar to what the British and Australian governments have done.”

Israel 'regrets this measure by the Irish government'

Foreign Ministry spokesman Yigal Palmor responded to the Irish move by saying Israel “regrets this measure by the Irish government, which is not in line with the importance of our relationship.”

This was almost identical to the response the ministry issued following last month’s expulsion of a diplomat from Australia.

In Dublin, Israel’s embassy released a statement saying Ambassador Zion Evrony had been invited to a meeting with David Cooney, the secretary-general of the Irish Department of Foreign Affairs, where he had been informed of the decision. The statement said Israel did not believe the move reflected “the overall positive relations which exist between Ireland and Israel.”

The episode is expected only to further strain ties between the two countries, which were tested earlier this month when an Irish-owned ship, the Rachel Corrie, tried to break the naval blockade of Gaza but was hauled into the Ashdod port.

Twelve British, eight Irish, four Australian, two French and one German passport were allegedly used by the hit squad that killed Mabhouh. While in some of the cases the identities of real citizens were stolen and used, in the Irish case, Martin said all eight passports involved fake identities.

AP contributed to this report.


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