Israeli ambassador to Ireland Dana Erlich
Israeli ambassador to Ireland Dana ErlichReuters/PA Images

Authorities in Ireland have launched an investigation after a letter containing a death threat was sent to the Israeli ambassador to Ireland last week along with a package of white powder, The Irish Times reported on Friday.

The arrival of the package by post at the Israeli embassy on March 14 sparked an evacuation of the building and the deployment of the Defense Forces Emergency Ordnance Disposal (EOD) team which is responsible for dealing with suspicious packages, according to the report.

The powder was taken away for analysis and determined to be sugar. It was accompanied by a collage of images of the bodies of Israelis who were murdered by Hamas during its October 7 terrorist attacks.

The document featured the logo of Hamas as well as text reading “You are next” pointing to a photograph of the ambassador, Dana Erlich.

Gardai, the national police and security service of Ireland, seized the document for forensic analysis, according to The Irish Times. Erlich said Israeli security services were also investigating.

Erlich said threats against herself and embassy staff had escalated since the October 7 attacks and the ensuing war in Gaza. She said there had also been an increase in antisemitism.

“It is an attempt to silence us or intimidate us,” she said. “We take it very seriously.”

The ambassador said she had received various threats and abusive messages online in recent months, including messages telling her to kill herself or to go back to her own country.

She praised the Irish security services, saying they were “very attentive” to the embassy’s needs and had an understanding of its “special situation.”

Relations between Israel and Ireland have been tense in recent years. Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar, who announced this week he would be stepping down, last month launched a tirade against Israel, accusing the country of becoming "blinded by rage" as it doubles down on plans to launch a ground offensive on the southern Gaza city of Rafah.

Varadkar caused an uproar in November, after he said that nine-year-old Emily Hand, a dual resident of Ireland and Israel who was freed from Hamas captivity, “was lost [and] has now been found and returned.

However, no mention was made of the fact that Hand was held by Hamas terrorists for 50 days, or of the attack they perpetrated in Israel on October 7 when they abducted Hand and more than 200 other people.

In May of 2021, then-Irish Foreign Minister Simon Coveney decried Israel’s counter-terror operations in the Gaza Strip as “brutal”, and said Israel “should be condemned”.

The Israeli government subsequently summoned the Irish ambassador for clarifications following Coveney’s comments.

That same month, Ireland’s government supported a parliamentary motion condemning the “de facto annexation of Palestinian land by Israel”.

In 2019, the Irish parliament approved a law promoting a boycott of Judea and Samaria products.

(Israel National News' North American desk is keeping you updated until the start of Shabbat in New York. The time posted automatically on all Israel National News articles, however, is Israeli time.)