Israel’s ambassador to Zambia and Zimbabwe mugged on Lusaka street in front of her bodyguards

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Car pulls up alongside Ofra Farhi as she’s crossing road; occupants grab her bag containing diplomatic passport, cellphone

By The Times of Israel

Israel’s ambassador to Zambia and the sub-region was mugged on a street in the African country’s capital last week, with the robbers making off with her diplomatic passport and her cellphone.

Ambassador Ofra Farhi was crossing a street in Lusaka on Friday when a car pulled up alongside her and the occupants grabbed her bag, dragging her off her feet and causing her minor injuries, Ynet reported. Some cash was also in her bag.

According to the report, her bodyguards, who were with her at the time, did not manage to prevent the crime.

Farhi was treated at a local clinic and continued on to her scheduled meetings with local officials.

Israeli Ambassador to Zambia Ofra Farhi

The ambassador said in a statement that though it is the kind of incident that can happen anywhere in the country, “Zambia is very safe and peaceful” and “very friendly to Israel.”

Zambian Foreign Minister Stanley Kakubo and a presidential adviser both called Farhi to offer their support.

Israel’s Foreign Minister Eli Cohen, who also called Farhi to ask about her welfare, said it is an example of the kind of dangers that diplomatic staff face.

“More than once, Israel’s ambassadors around the world have put themselves and their families at risk in order to serve the country,” Cohen said in a statement. “They deserve full appreciation for that.”

Farhi is a roving ambassador who lives in Israel and makes diplomatic visits to the countries she serves. She is also the ambassador to Zimbabwe and Botswana and is due back in Israel in the coming days, according to the report.