Theweekendleader

Diplomats' stir shuts Israeli embassy in India too

BY SHARON THAMBALA   |  Bengaluru

31-October-2019

The Israeli embassy in New Delhi and its two consulates in Bengaluru and Mumbai were shut for business, as in other countries around the world, due to a diplomats' strike, an official said on Thursday.

"As Israeli embassies and consulates the world over, our embassy in New Delhi and consulates in Bengaluru and Mumbai are closed for business since Wednesday owing to disagreement between the ministries of finance and foreign affairs," a consulate official told IANS here.

The Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) on Wednesday announced on its official Facebook account that the Ministry of Finance had been breaching longstanding agreements with the foreign affairs employees.

"We are forced to close Israeli missions around the world as of today, October 30," said the statement.

According to the post on the popular social media platform, no consular services will be provided and entry into the missions will not be allowed.

"The Finance Ministry's ongoing disruption of the vital diplomatic tools of the state of Israel have left the MFA employees with no choice but to pursue sanctions," added the post.

Spokesman Elad Strohmayer of the Israeli embassy in the US tweeted from Washington: "We're on strike! ... No consular services will be provided and no one will be allowed to enter the embassy."

"Due to the decision of the Israeli Ministry of Finance to breach understandings that were agreed upon and signed by them on July 21, 2019, we are forced to close the embassy," Strohmayer tweeted.

According to the ministry of foreign affairs, the breach amounted to applying a one-sided protocol, which has altered a decades-long protocol.

The defence attaches also joined the strike over pay disagreements, showing unity between the foreign and defence ministries.

Multiple official Twitter accounts of Israeli embassies in the UK, Rwanda, South Africa, Ghana and others reiterated the strike call.

Israel and India established diplomatic relations in 1992 and set up consulates in Mumbai and Bengaluru. IANS