Apr 12 2018
Lord Mayor of Dublin Micheál Mac Donncha has described attempts by the Israeli authorities to prevent him from entering Palestine as censorship.
It has emerged that Israeli immigration officers were told to stop the Sinn Féin member at Ben Gurion Airport in Tel Aviv but failed to do so because the order had his name wrong.
This followed two motions passed by Dublin City Council on Monday which were supported by Sinn Féin - one to expel the Israeli ambassador and the other to support the boycott campaign.
Councillor Mac Donncha, who is currently in Ramallah, said in a statement that "to ban people from entering Palestine on the basis that they oppose your policies is not only undemocratic, it is part of Israel's attempts to censor its opponents."
"I am here in Ramallah at the invite of the Palestinian Authority to take part in a conference on the status of the City of Jerusalem. It is my understanding that others who were due to take part in the conference have been refused entrance. That is disgraceful in my view."
Speaking to RTÉ News from Ramallah, Mr Mac Donncha said he understood newspaper reports were quoting Israeli authorities as saying that the only reason he had been able to enter Israel was due to an error in the spelling of his name on the system.
However, he said he had not received any official contact or notification from Israeli authorities about any restriction on his travel.
Sinn Féin's foreign affairs spokesperson, Deputy Seán Crowe, said the Irish government has to protest at attempts to block Dublin's Lord Mayor from visiting Palestine.
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