An international delegation of 13 UN ambassadors arrived in Israel on Tuesday at the invitation of Israel's Ambassador to the UN Gilad Erdan.
Visit to Israel
During a seven-day visit, the ambassadors will visit historic sites of religious and cultural significance, such as the Western Wall, the Church of the Holy Sepulchre and the Yad Vashem Holocaust Remembrance Museum.
They will also visit several IDF bases across the country and meet with President Isaac Herzog, Prime Minister Naftali Bennett and Foreign Minister Yair Lapid, in addition to having several discussions with Israeli security officials, during which they will be "exposed to the crimes" of Gaza-based Palestinian terror group Hamas and Lebanese terror organization Hezbollah.
The 13 ambassadors who will take part represent 13 nations whose bilateral ties with the Jewish state are seen by Israel as crucial to its economic and security interests.
European representatives from Poland, the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Estonia will be joined by Mexico, a current member of the UN Security Council. Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Tanzania, Benin, Burundi, Malawi, El Salvador and Panama have also sent their UN representative to Israel.
Israeli and American initiative
An initiative organized by Erdan and the UJA-Federation of New York, the ambassadors' seven-day trip to the Jewish land is part of efforts to change the voting patterns of nations at the UN, which the Israeli ambassador labeled as anti-Zionist.
"We're bringing the ambassadors to Israel to experience Israel's commitment to coexistence, freedom and equality first-hand."Israel's Ambassador to the UN, Gilad Erdan
The visit will impact the ambassadors' votes at UN assemblies and councils, Erdan claimed, further stating that seeing the challenges Israel faces from a close point of view means they will return to the UN headquarters in New York with a "deeper understanding of Israel's reality and contributions to the international community.