COP26: disabled Israeli minister lets in, conference apologizes

Elharrar, who has muscular dystrophy, uses a wheelchair and was therefore unable to enter after hours of moving from entrance to entrance, trying to get inside. She was forced to leave after not finding a solution.

Prime Minister Naftali Bennett escorted Elharrar to the conference on Tuesday after saying the day before that he would ensure that she entered the conference in his caravan.

“Regarding Minister Elharrar’s experience at the entry point yesterday, this was a genuine mistake and we have apologized for that,” the organizers announced via the official COP26 Twitter page. “We are pleased to see you present at COP26 today.

“# COP26 must be inclusive and accessible to all and the venue is designed to facilitate that,” they concluded.

UK Environment Secretary George Eustice called the scene “deeply regrettable” but blamed Elharrar’s team for not sufficiently notifying event organizers of their “particular need”. The conference website noted that the event would be wheelchair accessible.

After learning of the incident, UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson said he was “very sorry” for the “confusion” and reportedly invited Elharrar to his meeting with Bennett on Tuesday.

Elharrar expressed hope Monday that the lesson from the incident has been learned so that he can focus on promoting green energy, removing roadblocks and promoting energy efficiency at Tuesday’s conference.

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