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Israeli PM Fires Spokesperson Eylon Levy After Arguing With UK Official

Eylon Levy, the telegenic Israeli government spokesperson who gained international fame through his media appearances after the Oct. 7 Hamas attack on Israel, has been suspended from his job, multiple Israeli outlets reported Tuesday.

Israel’s English-language government spokesman, Eylon Levy, has been suspended, a news has confirmed. The Israeli prime minister’s office has not given a reason. But it is understood that the decision is linked to a recent online row with the UK Foreign Secretary, Lord Cameron.

According to Israel’s media, British-born Levy may ultimately be fired. The Financial Times cited a person familiar with the matter as characterizing the British query as: “Is this the way allies speak to each other?”

Neither the suspension nor the reason for it have been formally announced, but it comes after Levy provoked a minor diplomatic incident after arguing on social media with British officials, including Foreign Secretary David Cameron (whose position is equivalent to the U.S. Secretary of State).

Mr. Levy has so far not commented. On March 8, he wrote a now-deleted post on X responding to another one from Lord Cameron that urged Israel “to allow more [aid] trucks into Gaza.” “I hope you are also aware there are NO limits on the entry of food, water, medicine, or shelter equipment into Gaza, and in fact the crossings have EXCESS capacity,” Mr. Levy replied. “Test us. Send another 100 trucks a day to Kerem Shalom and we’ll get them in,” he added, referring to an Israeli-controlled border crossing.

Two days earlier, he had written another post criticizing a statement issued by Lord Cameron after a meeting with an Israeli minister in London. Israel’s Channel 12 News reported on Tuesday that Mr. Levy was suspended shortly after the UK Foreign Office wrote to Israel’s foreign ministry to express its “surprise” and seek clarification on whether Mr. Levy’s posts represented the Israeli government’s official position.

If Levy is ultimately pushed out for exceeding his mandate as a spokesperson, it wouldn’t be the first tension he’s had with his government. In January, the Times of Israel reported that Sara Netanyahu, wife of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, was attempting to have Levy removed over his participation in widespread protests over the Netanyahu government’s controversial changes to the country’s judiciary.

Mr. Levy, who is in his 30s, was born in the UK and emigrated to Israel in 2014. He served in Cogat, the Israeli defense ministry body that oversees policy for the Palestinian territories, worked as a TV news anchor, and was most recently an international media adviser to President Isaac Herzog.

He rose to international prominence after becoming a government spokesperson following Hamas’s October 7 attacks on Israel and the start of the war in Gaza and frequently being interviewed by English-language broadcasters, including the BBC.

On Tuesday, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu reportedly made critical remarks about Israel’s English-language public diplomacy during a closed-door meeting with two parliamentary committees. Channel 12 quoted him as saying, “There simply are no people. You are surrounded by people who can’t put two words together [in English].”

In response to that report, his office said he “deeply values the work of his team and of the Public Diplomacy Directorate that operates under him.”

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