Israel’s Foreign Ministry tells diplomats to refuse mail with ‘problematic’ terms

Israel's Foreign Ministry has instructed its diplomats to refuse to accept any official mail that uses “problematic terminology” such as the “state of Palestine.”

The instructions come ahead of Thursday's scheduled vote in the United Nations General Assembly on the Palestinians' request to elevate their status to non-member observer state, Ynet reported.

Other problematic terms include “occupied Palestine,” “occupied Jerusalem” and “occupied territories.” Palestinian Authority territories is an acceptable term, according to Ynet, which cited Foreign Ministry employee Galia Levanon.

All the terms have appeared in official letters from international organizations and foreign ministries, according to the report.

Letters containing the unacceptable terminology should be returned to the sender with a request that it be revised, according to Ynet.

Meanwhile, the Israeli media is reporting that Israeli will not pull out of the agreements of the Oslo Accords if the request for upgraded U.N. status is passed, as had been threatened. Other possible responses include calling in the Palestinians' debts, according to the Times of Israel.

Canada suspends Gaza mail delivery

Canada’s post office has suspended mail delivery to the Gaza Strip.

In a statement on its website, Canada Post said it has been informed by its counterpart in Israel that “due to circumstances beyond their control, mail service to the Gaza Strip is currently unavailable.”

Canada Post says it has been unable to find “alternate routes” to deliver mail to the area.

“Our efforts to get mail through to the Gaza Strip will continue, and we will keep customers updated on developments through our website,” the statement said.

All Gaza-bound mail accepted by Canada Post that is undeliverable will be returned to sender. Once mail service in the Gaza Strip resumes, customers will be able to re-mail their items at no additional charge.

Canada Post did not provide a reason for the interruption, but spokesman John Caines told the QMI news agency that when there is a war or conflict in a foreign destination, domestic postal services are notified through the International Postal Union.

An estimated 24,000 people of Palestinian descent reside in Canada.

Somalia is the only country to which Canada Post does not deliver any mail, according to the Ottawa Citizen. Surface delivery, in which letters and parcels are delivered by sea, also is unavailable in Iraq, Lebanon and East Timor, according to Canada Post.