Strike closes Israeli missions including embassies worldwide

October 31, 2019 by J-Wire Newsdesk
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The Ministry of Foreign Affairs have posted on their Facebook that all missions worldwide have closed their doors due to a dispute with the Ministry of Finance.

All Israeli embassies and consulates around the world ceased operations on Wednesday as diplomats and military attachés went on strike in protest of the Finance Ministry’s (FM) new policy regarding the envoys’ expense reimbursement.

The strike was a coordinated effort of the Foreign and Defense Ministries and the Histadrut Trade Union. According to the Histadrut, the strike came after the FM decided to reverse its previous policy on reimbursement of Israeli envoys for their job-related expenses.

The FM reportedly attempted to retroactively implement the new policy, forcing the envoys to pay back thousands of dollars, which have been paid to them according to the previous reimbursement policy.

Several embassies and consulates have posted an announcement about their strike to their social media accounts, saying the FM breached previous understandings and hoping they can resume service as soon as possible.

“Due to the decision of the Israeli Ministry of Finance to breach understandings that were agreed upon and signed by the Director-General of the Ministry of Finance on July 21, 2019, and to apply a one-sided procedure that alters a protocol that has been in place for several decades, we are forced to close the diplomatic mission. No consular services will be provided and no one will be allowed to enter the Embassy/Consulate,” the statement read.

“Israeli diplomats are committed at all times to strive to enhance Israel’s strength and resilience. Unfortunately, the decision of the Ministry of Finance does not leave us any choice but to take the above-mentioned action, since the vital interests of the State of Israel have been harmed. We hope that this crisis will be resolved as soon as possible,” the statement concluded.

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