INTERNATIONAL: Israeli Embassy PRO in Dublin fired

DUBLIN: An Irish press officer at Dublin's Israeli Embassy was fired last week after writing letters to several Irish dailies condemning Israel's recent F-16 attack in the Gaza Strip.

'I am ashamed of the Israeli government for sanctioning this and other similar operations,' Noreen O'Caroll wrote in The Irish Times.

She continued: 'I am also appalled and ashamed of Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's cold-hearted response to it, stating that it was "one of our greatest successes". Has he any heart, any moral sense at all?'

Similar letters were published in other Irish newspapers and for each, O'Caroll identified herself as 'press officer, Embassy of Israel, Dublin'.

According to a report in The Guardian, an unidentified diplomat at the embassy said: 'Nobody in their right minds expects an organisation to keep a press officer who speaks against it.'

When asked why she used her official designation, O'Caroll said: 'I am not a diplomat. I am an Irish citizen, doing an administrative job.'

The attack in question was intended to kill the military leader of Hamas and his bodyguard. Though successful, the attack also took the lives of a dozen others, and injured hundreds.

'(A) missile attack on an apartment building, after midnight when children and adults are asleep in their beds, is no more justifiable than a suicide bombing,' wrote O'Caroll.

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