An Irish town council has removed a page signed by the Israeli envoy from its guestbook, following reports that an Israeli terror team used forged Irish passports.
Authorities in Carrickmacross, northeast Ireland, voted to remove Zion Evrony’s signature to protest Israel’s diplomatic record, state-funded BBC said Tuesday.
"I think if a government is responsible for a wholesale disregard for international law then local authorities, as well as our own government, have a responsibility to tell them we expect a higher standard," local councilor Matt Carthy said.
Hoping that the move would send a serious message to Israel, he added that it is important "to take a stand."
The move, however, drew criticism from Irish Foreign Minister Michael Martin, who said the action "violated a basic tenet of relations" between the two governments.
While acknowledging that many people in Ireland have "deep concerns" about Israel’s policies, he added that removing the signature went against the principles governing the treatment of foreign diplomats.
The council’s decision came after six Irish passport-holders were named among 26 suspects linked to the assassination of a senior Hamas commander in Dubai last month.
Mahmud al-Mabhouh was found dead in his hotel room on January 20 after being drugged and suffocated, according to Dubai police.
As well as the Irish documents, 12 British, four French, three Australian and one German passports were used by the terror team.
The Dubai police views Mossad, the Israeli intelligence agency, as being the prime suspect in the assassination plot.
Tel Aviv has refused to confirm or deny reports that its agents were behind the hit, but Israeli media see the killing as Mossad’s work and the investigation has caused a diplomatic headache for Tel Aviv.
So far, Ireland, Australia and other European states whose passports were allegedly faked and used in the hit have called in the Israeli envoys to explain the affair.
This is while there are mounting suspicions that the countries whose passports were held by the terrorists had been previously informed by Israel about the operation.