Bulgarian Foreign Ministry advice to avoid Jerusalem counter-productive – Israeli ambassador
The recommendation by Bulgaria’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs for Bulgarian citizens to refrain from trips to Jerusalem is counterproductive and does not correspond to the actual situation, Israel’s ambassador in Sofia, Irit Lillian, said.
“While we understand that this is a technical step by the ministry informing its citizens, we consider it to be a very crude measure because people who visit Jerusalem will see another reality,” ambassador Lillian told local media.
She said that, apart from tourism, many people visited Jerusalem on business and for religious reasons, and therefore the Bulgarian Foreign Ministry advisory could negatively affect contacts between Bulgaria and Israel.
Lillian said that the recent terrorist attacks in Israel were individual acts or by people working in small groups of two or three, usually young people without previous suspicious activities.
According to her, the reasons are complex, but include frustration in Palestinian society and hate speech used increasingly in social networks and even by moderate Palestinian leaders. The return of the knife as a weapon and its increasingly widespread use showed the impact of “Islamic State” and its methods on young Arabs, she said.
(Photo: Marketa Skornickova)