Israel official refuses to attend UN climate conference

Written by By Carly Mayberry, CNN

Joanna Zammit, Israel’s minister of public security, poses in the intensive care unit of Barzilai Medical Center in Ashkelon, near the Gaza Strip, in May 2018. Credit: Ronen Zvulun/Reuters

With the UN climate conference in Bonn, Germany, underway, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu found himself in hot water after an Israeli official refused to attend, following the refusal of Palestinian Minister of Culture and Sports Riyad Mansour.

Announcing her decision to boycott the high-level segment of the conference on Friday, Zammit, who was attending on a working visit, said that her presence would put Israelis “at greater risk” and that she would not take part in negotiations that she viewed as “delegitimizing Israel.”

In response, Mansour said he decided to boycott the meeting too, amid reports that Netanyahu had asked him to get a doctor to declare he could not go due to lack of medical care.

Jerusalem: Cities at conflict with each other in Israel

The meeting was expected to focus on the thorny issue of cooperation between state-run institutions in Gaza and the West Bank. The two sides are caught in a tough battle over water resources as well as cease-fire agreements, according to The New York Times.

The upcoming UN COP24 summit in Katowice, Poland, will also tackle questions of reducing emissions and developing climate finance.

Netanyahu himself has been accused of failing to take proactive steps to address the nation’s own warming temperature, according to the Times of Israel.

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