Israel bans New Zealand ambassador
New Zealand’s ambassador to Israel has been banned from entering the country as Israel continues to retaliate against a UN decision to condemn settlements.
Jonathan Curr, has been banned from Israel as a result of the nine United Nations Security Council members that voted for a resolution against Israel.
Work ties have been reduced for New Zealand and other countries who condemned Israel’s continued settlements in the occupied territories.
New Zealand co-sponsored the resolution, which said the settlements violate international law and undermine a two-state solution in Israel’s conflict with Palestine.
The resolution demanded that “Israel immediately and completely cease all settlement activities in the occupied Palestinian territory, including East Jerusalem,”
It has been confirmed by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade that Mr Curr is “not able to visit Israel for the time being”, MFAT said in a statement.
“We have been very open about our view that the UNSC should be doing more to support the Middle East Process and we look forward to continuing to engage constructively with all parties on this issue.”
Kiwi diplomat Mr Curr is also ambassador to Turkey, Azerbaijan, Georgia and Jordan.
Israel has already instructed its ambassador in New Zealand to return home for consultation in response to the vote.
Spokesperson Patricia Deen, for Cultural and Public Affairs at The Embassy of Israel in Wellington confirms the Ambassador has arrived in Israel and “it is unclear until when the Ambassador will stay in Israel.”
In the meantime, the Embassy of Israel will remain open and will continue its work and initiatives for the New Year.