Tunisia’s tourism minister resigns over 2006 Israel trip

Amel Karboul says she was not able to enter Israel due to problem at Tel Aviv airport security

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Tunisian Tourism Minister Amel Karboul submitted her resignation to Prime Minister Mahdi Jomaa over a trip to Israel in 2006, the state news agency TAP reported on Thursday.

The trip, brought up during a parliamentary session to give a vote of confidence to Jomaa’s new cabinet on Wednesday, stirred up controversy among parliament members.

“I presented my resignation to Prime Minister Mehdi Jomaa. It is up to him to accept or reject it,” Karboul said at the end of the swearing-in ceremony in the Carthage palace.

Several blocs within the legislative body condemned Karboul and demanded reasons for the trip and her relationship with the Jewish country.

Karboul denied having entered Israel. ”I did not visit Israel because of the pressure I had undergone for more than four hours in the border post, because I am Arab and Muslim.”

But the prime minister said the Karboul had indeed visited Israel in 2006 to take part in a U.N. training program for Palestinian youths, but she refused to continue the training because of the six-hour interrogation she had faced in Tel-Aviv airport, for being Arab and Muslim.”

The Prime Minister Jomaa showed support for Karboul and has rejected her resignation, according to government sources.

Karboul had expressed her commitment to serve Tunisia, noting that despite several difficulties, the country still offers opportunities of development, TAP reported.

If she stays in her post, Karboul will seek to revive one of the most hard-hit economic sectors since the ouster the country’s 2011 revolution.

On her blog “Change and Leadership,” the minister says she is “open to the entire world” and that she “admires global culture and its influence on organizing projects and managing them in a dynamic manner.”

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