The Foreign Ministry has issued a formal apology to Britain's deputy consul-general to Israel following an upsetting incident during a visit to the Prime Minister's Office in Jerusalem, where she was subjected to a strip-search despite having diplomatic credentials
Janet Rogan is one of the top diplomats in Israel, but that apparently did not factor into the considerations of Prime Minister Ehud Olmert's security detail.
Rogan, the deputy head of Britain's diplomatic mission to Israel, was accompanying a delegation of British Treasury officials who were holding several high-profile meetings with Israeli officials.
The delegation, en route to meet with Prime Minister Ehud Olmert's chief of staff Yoram Turbowicz and top foreign policy advisor Shalom Turgeman, had submitted the names of its members to Olmert's office in advance. However, when the group reached the office gate the group was not allowed in immediately.
The security guards demanded Rogan go through a physical security check, to which she refused, presenting her diplomatic credentials. An exchange of harsh words developed and Rogan was ultimately taken behind a screen and physically searched, having to lift up her shirt.
Rogan stated in her complaint that the other members of the delegation were shocked at what had transpired and that by the end of the process Rogan was upset and had begun crying.
The incident was brought to the attention of the prime minister, who was outraged and demanded an internal inquiry. A formal apology was issued to and Israeli Chief of Protocol Yitzhak Eldan apologized to Rogan in person.
The Prime Minister's Office said in response to the incident, "As a matter of routine protocol ambassadors and their deputies enter the prime minister's office after a limited security check.
"An inquiry was launched into the erroneous matter in which this incident was handled and due to the findings of the inquiry we have updated the current procedure and apologized for any emotional distress that may have been caused."