Ireland expels Israeli diplomat

Mahmoud al-Mabhouh

Mahmoud al-Mabhouh

The Irish government is expelling an Israeli diplomat because of the use of forged passports in the assassination of a senior Hamas militant.

Foreign Minister Micheal Martin said an investigation into the death of Mahmoud al-Mabhouh in Dubai in January had shown that eight fake Irish passports had been used.

Israeli has denied responsibility for the killing and the inquiry did not establish any more of a link between them and the use of Irish passport.

But Mr Martin said Ireland had "come to the inescapable conclusion that an Israeli government agency was responsible” and that the official was being expelled from the Dublin embassy in protest at what he called “unacceptable action”.

He added: "This demand has been conveyed to the Israeli ambassador and I would expect it to be quickly acceded to.”

Mr Martin said the unnamed official was not “accused or suspected of any particular wrongdoing”.

He said: "In being obliged to leave their post prematurely, the official concerned is a victim of the actions of the State they represent."

This follows the expulsions of Israeli diplomats from both Britain and Australia.

Last updated: 12:03pm, June 15 2010