The Foreign Affairs minister Charlie Flanagan has said he has no plans to expel Israel's ambassadorto Ireland.
Minister Flanagan said Ireland's foreign policy had always been based on dialogue, which could not happen if ambassadors were not present.
He was facing calls in the Seanad for Ireland to expel Israeli ambassador Boaz Modai over Israel's actions against Palestinians in Gaza.
Minister Flanagan said expelling the ambassador would only mean more difficulties for Ireland.
"The corollary of course would be the recall or expulsion of our own ambassador in Israel and the crippling of our own embassy in Tel Aviv," he said.
"As well as communicating our views to the Israeli government and reporting to me on the politics around the crisis, Ambassador (Eamonn) McKee has a fundamentally important role to play at this time."