Tunisian Minister Pressured to Resign over Stop in Israeli Airport in 2006
Tunisia’s recently sworn-in tourism minister turned in her resignation after it was discovered she flew to an Israeli airport eight years ago. Even though Amel Karboul never left the airport, her 2006 visit sparked controversy among some parliamentary members because of the countries’ tense diplomatic relationship.
Prime minister MehdiJomaa, who took office on Wednesday after the previously Islamist-led administration stepped down last year, stood by Karboul during a vote-of-confidence session for his incoming cabinet members. He clarified to critics of Karboul that she traveled to the country as part of the United Nations program for Palestinian youth, but did not set foot outside of Ben Gurion Airport in Tel Aviv; after almost six hours of questioning by Israeli border security, she flew back. Karboul said the interrogation was because she was Arab and Muslim.
Amid the controversy, Karboul submitted her resignation. “It is the prime minister’s decision whether to accept my resignation or not,” she said. Jomaa will reportedly reject it, according to Al Arabiya.