Israeli ambassador ‘not inclined’ to seek second term

Israel's ambassador to Egypt, Yitzhak Levanon, has said he is not inclined to extend his service after his term concludes next summer, according to a statement by the Israeli Foreign Ministry. Levanon cited inhospitable working conditions as the reason for his decision.

The ministry suggested diplomat Jacob Amitai as a possible successor for the position.

Israeli daily Yediot Ahronot previously reported that Levanon suffered from diplomatic seclusion in Cairo, saying that he was being held as a scapegoat for deteriorating Egyptian-Israeli relations resulting from the appointment of Avigdor Lieberman as Israeli Foreign Minister.  

Cairo declared Lieberman a persona non grata after he made insulting remarks against Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, and threats to bomb the Aswan High Dam.

Lieberman originally nominated a military figure to succeed Levanon's predecessor, Shalom Cohen, before deciding on Levanon.

The choice of Levanon provoked an outcry shortly after his appointment when it was discovered his mother, Shula Cohen, was a famous Israeli spy executed in Lebanon in 1961.

Levanon has called for the release of Ouda Tarabin, an Israeli citizen who in 2000 received a 15-year prison sentence in Egypt for allegedly providing military information to Israel. The ambassador has made frequent visits to Tarabin in his cell.

Translated from the Arabic Edition.

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