Israel’s foreign minister, Avigdor Lieberman has suspended three diplomats who tweeted posts critical of him and the prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu ahead of an inquiry that may lead to their dismissal.
The offending tweets came as Netanyahu, who is seeking a fourth term in office, was fending off criticism both at home and abroad over his plans to deliver a speech to the U.S. Congress in March, two weeks before Israel holds parliamentary elections.
Press TV reports: Israel’s Ambassador to Switzerland Yigal Caspi and two other diplomats were suspended on Wednesday for behavior deemed “unacceptable” and unbefitting their profession, Lieberman said on Thursday.
The diplomats held posts in Switzerland, India and Jerusalem (al-Quds), Israeli media reported.
Israel’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesman, Emmanuel Nahshon, confirmed the report but declined to provide additional details.
The three diplomats twitted on Tuesday criticizing Netanyahu for planning a speech before the US Congress on Iran’s nuclear program.
Netanyahu’s speech has not been coordinated with the White House and is expected to deepen rifts within the US administration.
Dozens of American lawmakers have already threatened not to attend the speech to protest Netanyahu’s visit to Washington.
Israeli media reported that the diplomats could face dismissal over their remarks.
The comments come a month ahead of Israel’s national election, which is widely seen as a referendum on the performance of right-wing Netanyahu, who is spending his third term in office.