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Tunisian Minister of Tourism resigns from the new government after being accused of 'normalization with Israel'

March 10, 2014 at 4:16 pm

Amal Karbul, the minister of tourism in the new Tunisian government, headed by Mehdi Gomaa, has resigned from the government before officially starting her new role after being accused of “normalization with Israel.”

Immediately after been sworn in before the interim Tunisian President Moncef el-Marzouki, on Wednesday, Ms Karbul announced that had submitted her resignation to the prime minister who “will rightly consider whether to accepting or reject it.”

In a post published on her Facebook page Karbul called on the new head of the Tunisian government to “accept her resignation in case the accusations made against her in dealing with the Zionist entity proved to be correct.”

The move came after a number of members of the Constituent Assembly accused the new minister, on Wednesday, of “normalization with Israel.” She had visited Israel in 2006.

These accusations caused an embarrassment for Mehdi Gomaa, who met with his minister then defended saying, “I spoke with the Minister of Tourism, who actually visited Israel in 2006 while participating in a UN program for young Palestinians. She stayed one day in Israel and being and Arab and Muslim was subjected to interrogation, which lasted for six hours at Tel Aviv airport. This led to her refusal of entry.”

Despite this defence, many of the Constituent Assembly’s members expressed their rejection of the minister, to the extent that one of them did not hesitate to tell her, “If it has been proven that you visited Israel, just get your belongings and leave this government.”

It is noteworthy that the government of Mehdi Gomaa, 51-year-old, whose members were sworn in on Wednesday before the interim President Marzouki won the confidence of the Constituent Assembly members after a stormy session marked by many accusations and criticisms.