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Israel: Wishing Myanmar ‘GOOD LUCK’ in genocide case was a mistake

Rohingyas fleeing Myanmar, heading to Bangladesh on 10 October, 2017 [Stefanie Glinski/Thomson Reuters Foundation]
Rohingyas fleeing Myanmar, heading to Bangladesh on 10 October, 2017 [Stefanie Glinski/Thomson Reuters Foundation]

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 today.

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, Reuters reported.

“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.”

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 of Myanmar denies accusations of genocide.

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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.

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.

In August the UN condemned Israel’s sales of arms to Myanmar. Privately-owned Israeli arms manufacturing companies had been found to have sold weapons and provided military training to Myanmar. “Israel, in particular, allowed the transfer of arms covered by the ATT (Arms Trade Treaty),” said the UN Mission, “at a time when it had knowledge, or ought to have had knowledge, that they would be used in the commission of serious crimes under international law.”

Denouncing the sale of arms to Myanmar the report said that Israel, along with the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Russia and Ukraine, should not have permitted arms sales when knowledge of the killing in Myanmar was “widespread”.

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