Israel to send back ambassador to New Zealand, end political dispute

Following secret contacts between the countries, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu decided to return the Israeli Ambassador to New Zealand. The decision will end the political dispute, which started following New Zealand’s support of a UN resolution against settlement construction.
Photo credit: Reuters/ Channel 2 News

Six months after Israeli Ambassador to New Zealand Itzhak Gerberg was returned to Israel for consultations, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu decided to end the political dispute and send him back to Wellington. The crisis began after New Zealand voted in favor of a UN resolution that claimed that settlement construction in the West Bank and East Jerusalem is illegal.

Netanyahu spoke with Prime Minister of New Zealand Bill English on the phone several days ago, following secret contacts made over the past several months by the Israeli Foreign Affairs Ministry with New Zealand.

“First and foremost, I regret the damage that was done to Israel-New Zealand ties as result of UN Security Council 2334,” English wrote to Netanyahu in a letter following their conversation. “We welcome the return of the Israeli Ambassador to Wellington.”

Last week, Netanyahu also decided to return the Israeli Ambassador to Senegal after meeting with the President of Senegal at the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Summit in Liberia.

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