The Israeli Ambassador to Ireland Dr Zion Evrony today cancelled plans to attend a parliamentary hearing on the deadly commando assault on aid shipments.
Oireachtas Foreign Affairs Committee chairman Dr Michael Woods accused the diplomat of a disappointing last-minute U-turn.
“This eleventh hour volte-face by the ambassador is a most disappointing development,” the chairman said.
“The committee had been anxious to seek answers from him regarding his government’s actions against vessels in international waters carrying humanitarian supplies for the people of Gaza.”
An emergency meeting of the committee was planned for tomorrow giving TDs and Senators the chance to quiz the ambassador directly.
Dr Evrony had accepted the invitation on Monday after the bloody assault on the Turkish aid boat, the Mavi Marmara.
The committee said the Embassy warned the ambassador could not attend the hearing due to “unforeseen circumstances” and it said offers to reschedule the hearing were rejected.
“We were also particularly eager to question him regarding his government’s intentions concerning the Irish-owned ship the Rachel Corrie which is on its way to Gaza,” Dr Woods said.
“This U-turn by an ambassador is almost without precedent and as a committee we are extremely dissatisfied with this action.
“We feel the ambassador has a responsibility to answer questions in an open and democratic forum. People want answers, however, unfortunately this opportunity has been lost.”