Lord Mayor of Dublin Micheál Mac Donncha has described attempts by the Israeli authorities to prevent him from entering Palestine as censorship.

It has 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.

This 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."

"This is lowbrow anti-Semitism, not what you'd expect of the capital of an EU member state," he wrote on Twitter.

Speaking to RTÉ News from Ramallah, Mr Mac Donncha said he understood newspaper reports were quoting Israeli authorities as saying that the only reason he had been able to enter Israel was due to an error in the spelling of his name on the system.

However he said he had not received any official contact or notification from Israeli authorities about any restriction on his travel.

Sinn Féin's foreign affairs spokesperson, Deputy Seán Crowe, said the Irish government has to protest at attempts to block Dublin's Lord Mayor from visiting Palestine.

The Israeli government has officialy condemned recent resolutions by Dublin City Council as "shameful and ludricrous".

A statement from the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs said Monday's resolutions "were in the spirit of the hateful values promoted by Hamas and others like them".

It added "it is utterly unacceptable that the capital city of a country that is a member of the European Union adopts resolutions that entirely promote boycott, hate and racism. We expect a scathing Irish condemnation of this despicable resolution."

The Department of Foreign Affairs has criticised Israel for excluding people from entering the country because of their opinions.

A spokesperson said that Israel is entitled to decide who it allows into its territory.

They added that: "However, excluding people for their opinions alone is not the usual practice of a democracy and does not help to build a better mutual understanding. Crucially, such exclusions can have the effect of preventing people from visiting the occupied Palestinian territory, rather than just Israel."

The spokesperson said that Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs Simon Coveney had raised the issue with the Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in January.

They said that Mr Mac Donncha has been in contact with its missions in Ramallah and Tel Aviv since his arrival in the West Bank.

The spokesperson said Mr Mac Donncha confirmed that he was not prevented from entering Israel and proceeded to occupied Palestinian territory.

They added that Mr Mac Donncha had not sought assistance from the Department.

Additional reporting Sinead Morris