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BBC: Israel accuses Ireland of supporting and funding Hamas

23-10-2023 |

Israel's ambassador to Ireland has been criticised for comments about the Irish president.

On Sunday, Dana Erlich accused President Michael D Higgins of making misinformed comments on the Israel-Gaza war.

Ms Erlich also questioned Ireland's neutrality, telling the Sunday Independent there was "a strong feeling in Israel that there is an unconscious bias against Israel in Ireland".

Speaking to reporters in Italy last week, Mr Higgins accused Israel of breaking international law.

"To announce in advance that you will break international law and to do so on an innocent population, it reduces all the code that was there from second world war on protection of civilians and it reduces it to tatters," Mr Higgins said.

Irish Enterprise Minister Simon Coveney told RTÉ that the "pointed" comments by Ms Erlich were not helpful.

"I think Michael D Higgins has reflected the view of many in Ireland," the former foreign affairs minister added.

Responding to the president's comments, Ms Erlich told the Sunday Independent that she was "concerned about spreading misinformation"., external

"Israel is abiding by international law," she added.

Meanwhile, a senior Israeli diplomat has accused the Republic of Ireland of funding the Palestinian militant group Hamas.

Writing on social media, Adi Ophir Moaz of the Israeli embassy in Dublin, claimed Ireland funded "tunnels of terror" under Gaza.

She has since deleted the post on X, formerly Twitter.

"Millions of euros are being transferred to Gaza and being used by Hamas for terror purposes," a spokesperson for the embassy told BBC News NI.

A spokesperson for Mr Higgins told RTÉ that the president's comments "related to the breach of international law that attacking civilians as collective punishment represents".

"The president has condemned all of the outrages and killings that have taken place and said that in responding to all of this it is important that international law is observed," they said.

The spokesperson added that Mr Higgins has "expressed his revulsion at the killing of civilians by Hamas, called for the immediate release of all hostages taken and has been clear that we must be absolutely unequivocal about anti-Semitic expression".

Source: BBC