Benny Kashriel
Benny KashrielChaim Goldberg/Flash90

The Mayor of the Gush Etzion Regional Council and the Chairman of the Yesha Council, Shlomo Ne'eman, sent a letter today (Thursday) to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Foreign Minister Israel Katz, in which he calls on them to stand firm on Israel's decision to appoint Benny Kashriel as ambassador to Italy and reject Italy's intervention in the matter.

Ne'eman wrote, "We were surprised to read this morning in the media that the president of Italy refuses to approve the appointment of Benny Kashriel as Israel's ambassador to Italy due to his being a resident of Judea and Samaria, and who previously served as the mayor of Ma'ale Adumim and chairman of the Yesha council."

"This is an appointment that has passed the legal hurdles in Israel, including the approval of the government. Therefore, there is no doubt that this is disgusting interference in the Israeli government's policy, which harms the sovereignty of the State of Israel.

"To the extent that the State of Israel is in favor of this decision, it will be a slippery slope where the foreign policy of the State of Israel is determined by those outside the country. First sanctions on residents of Judea and Samaria, and now interference in the appointment of the Israeli ambassador only because of his place of residence and his publicly held positions,” Ne'eman said.

Earlier, it was reported that the Israeli government has officially canceled the appointment of former Maaleh Adumim mayor Benny Kashriel to the position of Ambassador to Italy, due to Italy's opposition to the appointment.

Kashriel will reportedly instead be appointed Israel's Ambassador to Hungary.

The Foreign Ministry's human resources department on Thursday morning announced that it was looking to fill the position of Foreign Minister to Italy and seeking a candidate among the Ministry's employees.

According to Ynet, the Ministry intends to appoint Kashriel as Ambassador to Hungary, estimating that Hungary, who is one of Israel's only friends in the European Union, is also the only country likely to approve the appointment.