Israeli embassies closed indefinitely over 'stipends dispute'
The embassies of the State of Israel around the world have been closed indefinitely as part of an ongoing labour dispute between the worker's committees in the Foreign and Security Ministries and the Israeli Ministry of Finance.
As a result, all Israeli embassies and consulates around the world shut down early Wednesday as diplomats and military attachés went on strike over expense stipends paid to envoys.
The move, coordinated by the Foreign Ministry, the Defense Ministry and the Histadrut Labor Federation, came after the Israeli Ministry of Finance reportedly backtracked on previous understandings and said it would force the envoys to pay back thousands of dollars that they had been reimbursed for expenses.
"No consular services will be provided and no one will be allowed to enter the Embassy," a statement issued Wednesday [October 30] by the Israeli Embassy in Accra said.
Clarifying the closure of the Embassy of Israel in Accra in a second statement, it was explained that the embassy had "to suspend all its daily diplomatic activities such as consular services, meetings and events, as of Wednesday 30 October 2019, due to internal budgetary issues between the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Israel's Ministry of Finance."
"This strike action is being carried out by all Israeli Missions abroad.""Israel and Ghana have good and long lasting relations, that hopefully will last until the end of days.
"The Embassy will continue to give services and resume its diplomatic activities in Ghana, Liberia and Sierra Leone once the internal difficulties are resolved," the statement explained.
Read a copy of the statement below;
An Announcement from the Embassy of Israel in Accra
October 30, 2019
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 suspend all diplomatic activities till further notice. No consular services will be provided and no one will be allowed to enter the Embassy.
Israeli diplomats are committed at all times to strive to enhance Israel’s strength and resilience. Unfortunately, the decision of the Israeli 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.