A decision on whether to expel an Israeli embassy security worker from Ireland over the use of fake passports in a secret service assassination has been delayed, Foreign Affairs Minister Micheál Martin today revealed
Minister Martin said he did not want the scandal to be clouded by massive international outrage over the storming of Gaza-bound aid ships and the killing of nine activists by Israeli military.
It is understood top government officials and Garda Commissioner Fachtna Murphy recommended the worker be ordered out of the country over Israel’s use of eight fake Irish passports by a Mossad unit which killed Hamas militant Mahmoud Al Mabhouh in January.
“I do intend to bring proposals to Government, as I indicated yesterday, in relation to the appropriate action deemed to be necessary in response to that situation but I want to draw clear separation between that particular issue and what has happened earlier this week,” Mr Martin said.
One report into the affair was compiled by the Department of Foreign Affairs passport unit and another on behalf of Commissioner Murphy.
Both Taoiseach Brian Cowen and the minister refused to be drawn on whether the reports recommended an embassy employee be expelled from Ireland.
“I made it very clear yesterday, for good reasons and I think it’s been accepted by most people who have been following these events, that there is no way I was going to take action or announce the action on Monday or Tuesday in the light of what transpired in relation to the flotilla,” the minister said.
A total of eight Irish passports were used by the hit squad linked to the assassination of al Mabhouh, who founded Hamas’ military wing.
While the number and expiry date on the passports were authentic, the name did not match.
Some of those travelling on Irish passports were named as Evan Dennings, Kevin Daveron, Gail Folliard, Anna Shauna Clasby, Chester Halvey and Ivy Brinton.
Elsewhere, 12 British passports and fake travel documents from France and Australia were also used by people involved in the killing.
Britain has already expelled an Israeli diplomat after concluding Tel Aviv forged the UK passports used by the killers in a Dubai hotel room on January 19.
Mr Martin added: “When I bring it to Government and I have made the decision it will clearly be in the context of what happened in Dubai and the forging of Irish passports and the appropriate response to the Irish Government in relation to that.
“I didn’t want that to get completely lost in terms of what was transpiring from early Monday morning onwards.”