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May 27, 2018 10:22 am

Israeli Minister Says EU ‘Can Go to a Thousand Hells’ After Body Criticizes Israel

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Israel’s Energy Minister Yuval Steinitz is seen during a quadrilateral Ministerial Summit in Nicosia, Cyprus December 5, 2017. Photo: REUTERS/Yiannis Kourtoglou.

JNS.org – “The European Union can go to a thousand hells,” said Israel’s National Infrastructure, Energy and Water Minister Yuval Steinitz in response to a statement criticizing Israel for an incident involving a human rights activist.

In a statement, European Union spokesperson Maja Kocijancic called on Israel to investigate the incident in which Jafar Farah, director of the NGO Mossawa, the Advocacy Centre for Arab Citizens in Israel, claimed he had his leg broken by police during a demonstration against the deaths of dozens of Palestinians in events on the Gaza border on May 14.

The spokesperson called on Israel to investigate the incident that is expected to add fuel to the fire of the growing tension between the European Union and Israel. “In addition, it will also be important, as supported by the Israeli government, to conduct a swift investigation into circumstances surrounding events last week in Haifa which appeared to result in serious injury of Jafar Farah,” the statement added.

European Union’s Ambassador to Israel Emanuele Giaufret this past week visited Farah and spoke with Israeli-Arab civic society organizers.

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The European Union statement also called on Israel not to deport Omar Shakir, the local director for Human Rights Watch. Israel has revoked the US citizen’s entry permit and ordered him to leave the country for his alleged support of boycotts against Israel.

“The European Union expects the Israeli authorities to reverse their decision, as otherwise Israel would join a very short list of countries which have barred entry to, or expelled, Human Rights Watch staff,” Kocijancic said.

Steinitz accused the European Union of “hypocrisy” saying that the same organization “sucked up to Iran” and would help Tehran in the face of newly imposed American sanctions.

“Israel is a state of rules and laws,” said Steinitz, adding that the police was investigating the incident.

The EU statement only shows “how vile it is,” Steinitz said, adding that “it’s the height of cynicism and chutzpah.”

“Iran executes and tortures homosexuals, violates women’s rights, not to talk about what its doing in the Middle East, its support of terrorism [Syrian President Bashar] Assad who uses chemical weapons against its people,” the minister said, noting that the EU chose to go after Israel instead.

“The EU is a body that is not led by anyone and is unlikely to change its stance on Israel even though individual European countries have strengthened their ties with the Jewish state,” Steinitz said.

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