Ireland blocks EU data sharing with Israel


DUBLIN (JTA) — Ireland blocked a European Union plan to allow sharing of European citizens’ personal data with Israel over concerns that Israeli officials could not be trusted with the information.

Irish Justice Minister Dermot Ahern on July 6 formally objected to the EU’s recognition of Israel’s data protection standards, which would have allowed the exchange of personal information, forcing a full debate of the proposal at a committee hearing.

A spokesman for Ahern said the Irish government had the “gravest concern” that information supplied to Israel could be used to forge passports for use by intelligence agencies.

Ireland expelled an Israeli diplomat from Dublin last month as punishment for the alleged illegal use of forged Irish passports in the killing of Hamas arms dealer Mahmoud al-Mabhouh in a Dubai hotel in January.

Dubai police accused Israel’s Mossad intelligency agency of carrying out the killing using agents operating with forged passports, including several from Ireland.

Investigations by the Irish police and passport office found no additional evidence linking the passports to Israel, but the Irish government maintains that Israel was responsible for them.

Recommended from JTA