THE Israeli Embassy in Dublin has apologised after a derogatory Christmas message about Palestinians was posted on its Facebook page.
But it denied its staff were responsible for the post, which said if Jesus and Mary were alive today they would be "lynched" by "hostile Palestinians" in Bethlehem.
A spokesman for the embassy last night said it was unaware of the identity of the poster.
Embassy staff and officials in Israel have access to passwords that enables them to post on the page, while other users of the site can add responses.
The posting, which also included a picture of Jesus and Mary, read: "A thought for Christmas . . . if Jesus and mother Mary were alive today, they would, as Jews without security, probably end up being lynched in Bethlehem by hostile Palestinians."
The message attracted more than 120 responses following its posting with some calling on the embassy to apologise.
The embassy spokesman was unable to say if the page had been hacked. "The image and the caption were posted without our consent," he said.
In its place now is the following message: "An image of Jesus and Mary with a derogatory comment about Palestinians was posted without the consent of the administrator of the Facebook page.
"We have removed the post in question immediately. Apologies to anyone who may have been offended. Merry Christmas!"