JERUSALEM (Reuters) - Israel's secret service declined to assist U.S. agents guarding former U.S. President Jimmy Carter during a visit in which Israeli leaders shunned him over his plans to meet Hamas, U.S. sources said on Monday.
"They're not getting support from local security," one of the sources said, on condition of anonymity.
An Israeli security source said the Shin Bet security service provided no protection to Carter during his visit to the Jewish state because no request was made.
Asked about the Israeli account, Carter's delegation, which had previously declined to comment, told Reuters in a statement: "The Carter delegation inquired with both the lead agent of the Secret Service detail (protecting Carter) and the State Department Regional Security Officer and were told unequivocally that an official request for assistance had been made."
American sources close to the matter said the Shin Bet, which helps protect visiting dignitaries and is overseen by Prime Minister Ehud Olmert's office, declined to meet the head of Carter's Secret Service detail or provide his team with assistance as is customary during such visits.