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Netanyahu to travel with Mossad agents

13 August 2010 14:04

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has been forced to seek Mossad’s help on organizing his Greece visit as Israeli’s foreign ministry staff are currently on strike.

Foreign ministry employees in Israel are on strike in protest at the low pay and benefits they receive compared with the Mossad, Shin Bet and other government agencies with missions abroad. As a result, some 100 Israeli embassies throughout the world are refusing to go to work.

The unusual decision by the prime minister sparked anger among foreign ministry officials, who accuse Netanyahu of trying to break a legal strike by using another body.

Israeli diplomats have also vowed to cut off contact with all units of the Mossad, which is preparing Netanyahu’s Greece visit through its network of residents abroad who have close contacts with government officials and security agencies in the host country.

Meanwhile, the employees of Israel’s Athens embassy have boycotted Netanyahu’s trip.

“The ambassador will not meet the prime minister at the airport and nobody from the foreign ministry will lift a finger for this trip,” a foreign ministry workers’ committee source said.

“It is unacceptable that the prime minister would use another body, which is strictly in charge of security matters, to break a strike,” the source added.

According to Israeli media, the Athens visit is too important to be delayed as it is intended to strengthen ties with Greece after Israel failed to repair its once strong relations with former regional ally Turkey.

Netanyahu is due to travel to Greece on Monday for talks with Prime Minister George Papandreou and other leading officials.

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