The Israeli ambassador was mistaken to have sent a “GOOD LUCK” message to Myanmar ahead of World Court hearings on accusations the state committed genocide against Rohingya Muslims, Israel’s foreign ministry said on 28th November (Thursday).
Israel’s Haaretz newspaper reported that the ambassador to Myanmar wished authorities good luck in tweets that have since been deleted ahead of the hearings next month at the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in The Hague.
“The ambassador’s tweet was a mistake and was immediately amended,” the foreign ministry said in a statement.
“Israel forthrightly condemns the atrocities perpetrated against the Rohingya in the Rakhine region. Israel voted a week ago in favour of a UN resolution condemning the atrocities.”
Accusations of genocide
More than 730,000 Rohingya Muslims have fled to neighbouring Bangladesh since a 2017 crackdown by Myanmar’s military, which UN investigators say was carried out with “genocidal intent”. Buddhist majority Myanmar denies accusations of genocide.
Myanmar’s de facto leader, State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi, will lead a delegation to defend against accusations brought at the ICJ by Gambia, which has the backing of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation.
Ronen Gilor, Israel’s ambassador to Myanmar, had tweeted “Encouragement for a good verdict and good luck!” in one post, Haaretz reported with a screengrab of the since deleted tweet.
People walking in Kyauktalone camp in Kyaukphyu, Rakhine state, where Muslim residents have been forced to live for seven years after the inter-communal unrest tore apart the town. (Photo: Getty)
Another tweet said: “State Counsellor going to respond for Myanmar in the ICJ! GOOD LUCK!”
Western countries have widely condemned Myanmar’s actions in Rakhine state while China has offered support for what it terms Myanmar’s efforts to preserve domestic stability.
In August this year, a UN report said Israel was among seven countries which have continued to sell arms to Myanmar despite its brutal military crackdown on the Muslim minority.
Two Israeli-made gunboats were delivered to Myanmar’s navy in April 2017, with the state-owned Israeli Aerospace Industry meant to provide at least two more boats.