A senior Israeli official has formally complained to Ireland's ambassador over the activities of Dublin's mayor and his participation in a Palestinian conference, the foreign ministry said.

Deputy director general Rodica Radian-Gordon "expressed her amazement and deep disappointment at the fact that the mayor chose to participate in a blatantly anti-Israel event", the ministry said in a statement.

Lord Mayor Mícheál Mac Donncha entered Israel on his way to the Israeli-occupied West Bank for a conference last night on the disputed status of Jerusalem.

Although he was officially barred from entry for alleged anti-Israel activity, he passed unchallenged through immigration at Tel Aviv airport late Tuesday, reportedly due to a clerical error.

Both Israel and the Palestinians claim Jerusalem as their capital.

Its Palestinian eastern sector was captured by Israel in the 1967 Six-Day War and subsequently annexed to the Jewish state.

Palestinians want it as the capital of a future state of their own. 

The Israeli statement quoted Ms Radian-Gordon as saying Mr Mac Donncha's Ramallah visit was "particularly jarring" as it took place on Holocaust remembrance day, which Israel marked from sunset yesterday.

It added that the Jewish state "expects a public and official Irish response to the conduct of the council of its capital city and particularly its head, who are conducting a campaign of discrimination and hatred against the state of Israel".

The Department of Foreign Affairs said the Ambassador to Israel .Alison Kelly met the Deputy Director General for European Affairs of the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs today.

In a statement the Department said she reiterated the Government's position on matters raised by the ministry, including the Government's firm opposition to a policy of BDS (Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions) in relation to Israel.

It adds that she expressed surprise that Mr Mac Donncha had been the one international conference participant singled out by Israeli authorities given that he has worked well with the Israeli embassy in Dublin in his current role, including hosting Ireland's national holocaust commemoration this year in his official residence.

Israel ordered a probe yesterday into how Mr Mac Donncha was allowed into the country.

Israeli daily Haaretz said the ban order sent to airport immigration officials misspelled Mr Mac Donncha's name and he did not therefore show up on the watch list.

The paper said he has ties with the Ireland Palestine Solidarity Campaign, which promotes a boycott of Israeli businesses and foreign firms which trade in the Jewish state.

Israel's interior ministry and strategic affairs ministry blamed each other for the mix-up, it said. 

Most air and sea passengers travelling to the West Bank pass through Israel, while the land border between the territory and Jordan is controlled by Israeli security and immigration officials.

Israeli authorities have accused Mr Mac Donncha of attending a conference in Palestine that glorified a war criminal.

A tweet by Cogat, the official Israeli body that deals with the West Bank and Gaza, stated that the banner for the Ramallah conference featured an image of a former Grand Mufti of Jerusalem who met Adolf Hitler during the World War II.

Yesterday, the Lord Mayor described attempts by the Israeli authorities to prevent him from entering Palestine as censorship.

It emerged that Israeli immigration officers were told to stop the Sinn Féin member at Ben Gurion Airport in Tel Aviv but failed to do so because the order had his name wrong.

It followed two motions passed by Dublin City Council on Monday which were supported by Sinn Féin - one to expel the Israeli ambassador and the other to support the boycott campaign.

Cllr Mac Donncha, who is currently in Ramallah, said in a statement that "to ban people from entering Palestine on the basis that they oppose your policies is not only undemocratic, it is part of Israel's attempts to censor its opponents."

"I am here in Ramallah at the invite of the Palestinian Authority to take part in a conference on the status of the City of Jerusalem. It is my understanding that others who were due to take part in the conference have been refused entrance. That is disgraceful in my view."

The story was picked up by The Times of Israel which quoted an Israeli foreign affairs spokesperson as describing the Dublin City Council motions "as utter nonsense" that is "worthy of dark dictatorships."

Additional reporting: Helen Donohue, AFP