Israel reprimands Irish envoy for upgrading Palestinian mission to embassy
The head of the Foreign Ministry department responsible for Irish affairs told Ireland's ambassador to Israel that 'this does not contribute to the peace process in any way.'
Israel's Foreign Ministry reprimanded Ireland's ambassador to Israel, Breifne O’Reilly, on Wednesday after the Irish government announced its decision to upgrade the Palestinian diplomatic mission in Dublin to the status of an official embassy.
The head of the ministry department responsible for Irish affairs, Moti Amihai, told O'Reilly that Israel is very disappointed and that "this does not contribute to the peace process in any way."
The Irish ambassador responded that his government made the upgrade decision as part of a recent trend adopted by several European countries including France and Spain in hopes that it will expedite the peace process.
O'Reilly reminded Amihai that Ireland had already stated its intention to upgrade the Palestinian mission to an embassy, and promote the head of the mission to the status of ambassador.
However, O'Reilly assured Amihai that he would relay the ministry's message to the Irish government.
When Israel initially received word of Ireland's decision on Tuesday, the Foreign Ministry issued a statement saying that Israel expressed regret over Ireland's decision, adding that "we are not surprised by this move in light of the Ireland's longstanding slanted policy with regards to the Israel-Palestinian conflict."
The statement further read, "The Irish move does not help the peace process, as it strengthens the Palestinian illusion that the Palestinians can advance their interests without returning to the negotiations table,"
Israel's ambassador to Dublin, Boaz Modai, was asked to convey a similar message of Israel's disappointment to the Irish Foreign Ministry.
Last month the Foreign Ministry ordered every Israeli envoy abroad to begin "urgent" diplomatic activity after reports reached Jerusalem that the Palestinian Authority was trying to persuade about a dozen European Union member states to upgrade the PA's diplomatic status.