Europe's national Olympic committees scrapped a congress they were due to hold in the Israeli city of Eilat next month because of fighting between Israeli forces and Gaza militants, an Israeli spokeswoman said on Tuesday.
Eilat, a southern resort city on the shores of the Red Sea, had been planning for the annual event for the past three years and a year ago was chosen to host it on December 7-8. It will now be held in Rome on the same dates, the spokeswoman said.
"Many delegates who were due to participate expressed concern at coming to Israel because rockets have been falling on the south of the country as far north as the Tel Aviv area," spokeswoman Bruria Bigman said.
International Olympic Committee president Jacques Rogge, Rio 2016 Olympics organizing committee president Carlos Nuzman and the London 2012 Games organizing committee head, Sebastian Coe, were to have been among the 400 participants in the event.
On Sunday, Eilat residents reported hearing an explosion but a police spokesman said that despite a sweep of the barren hills around the city, no initial evidence for what might have caused it had been found.