Phot: EPA
Aftermath of the October quake
Phot: EPA

MFA apologizes for deputy minister's comments on Italy quake

Israel's Foreign Ministry issued an apology on Saturday after Deputy Minister Ayoob Kara created a diplomatic incident with Italy, asserting the recent earthquakes that rattled Italy were because it abstained from a recent, controversial anti-Israeli UNESCO decision.

Deputy Minister for Regional Cooperation Ayoob Kara (Likud party) created a diplomatic incident with Italy this week when he stated that the recent earthquakes that rattled the country—less than two months after the quake that shook central Italy in August, killing nearly 300 people and injuring hundreds more—were due to the recent controversial resolutions passed by the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), which were perceived as anti-Israel.



The Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs published a statement condemning Kara's words, calling them inappropriate and saying they were should never have been uttered. The MFA further stated that the ministry, as well as Kara himself, wish to apologize for his remarks. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is expected to meet with Kara to clarify matters.


Deputy Minister Kara (Photo: Yaron Brener)
Deputy Minister Kara (Photo: Yaron Brener)


Kara's remarks came during an official visit to the Vatican, in which the deputy minister headed an Israeli delegation and met with Pope Francis. Following the earthquake on October 26, which could also be felt in Rome, Kara published a strange statement hinting that it may have been divine punishment for the UNESO resolutions—and for Italy's decision to abstain from the vote.


Italian officials fumed at the remarks, leading the Israeli Foreign Affairs Ministry, as well as the Israeli embassy to Rome, to quickly issue an apology.


On a somewhat related note, Italian President Sergio Mattarella is scheduled to land in Israel on Saturday evening for a visit planned before the incident.




פרסום ראשון: 10.29.16, 19:23
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