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Israel offended as Brazil denies settler leader as envoy

December 28, 2015 at 1:15 pm

A senior Israeli foreign ministry official has warned of a diplomatic fallout with Brazil after the South American country continued to delay approving a settler leader as Israel’s nominated ambassador.

Israeli Deputy Foreign Minister Tzipi Hotovely told Israel’s Channel 10 on Sunday that Israel will not appoint an alternative to Dani Dayan, who previously led a West Bank settler group and himself lives in a settlement.

According to Israeli newspaper The Jerusalem Post she said: “Approve him, because if not we are talking about a crisis in relations between the two countries, and it is not worth going there.”

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu appointed Dayan in August but Brazil has not yet approved the appointment, despite the previous ambassador’s term having ended.

The Jerusalem Post claimed Brazil was under pressure from leftist groups both in Brazil and Israel to reject Dayan because of his involvement in promoting Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank.

Brazil summoned Israel’s then-ambassador in 2014 to complain about an Israeli military operation in the Gaza Strip that killed 2,200 Palestinians.