‘Moderate’ Tunisia: Minister tenders resignation over Israel visit

Tunisia’s new tourism minister submitted her resignation mere hours after the country’s interim government was sworn in on Wednesday, following which she sustained heavy criticism for a visit she made to Israel in 2006.

The nation’s new technocratic government, headed by Prime Minister Mehdi Jomaa, replaced an Islamist-led administration under an accord to end political turmoil and prepare for fresh elections.

During a marathon session of parliament to approve the new government, Amel Karboul was lambasted over her trip to Israel. Jomaa responded to the criticism, saying Karboul had flown to Israel to take part in a UN program for Palestinian youth, but left the country without even stepping out of the airport after being interrogated for hours by Israeli security personnel.

Parliament eventually accepted Jomaa’s lineup, with 149 lawmakers approving, 20 voting against and 24 abstaining.

But Karboul decided to submit her resignation nonetheless, saying “it is the prime minister’s decision whether to accept my resignation or not.” No decision had been reported as of Thursday morning.