Israel Ambassador to Panama Reda Mansour felt “humiliated” after being stopped by security guards at Ben-Gurion Airport.
Security personnel defended their actions as they were informed Mansour’s family were from the Druze village of Isfiya on Mount Carmel in northern Israel.
An Israel Airport Authority spokesperson said Mansour had “chosen to be offended” as security checks are routinely performed “regardless of race, religion and sex”.
But Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and President Reuven Rivlin apologised to the Israeli envoy.
“The alliance between us and the Druze is an alliance built in life, not just in death,” said Rivlin.
Mansour has served the IDF and held posts in Israel’s foreign ministry.
Current Foreign Minister Yisrael Katz also apologised to the former minister.
“I will act to make sure cases like this will not happen again,” he said.
Druze-Israelis join the IDF and there is a military cemetery in Mansour’s hometown.