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March 15, 2023 9:21 am

Israel Blocks EU’s Foreign Chief from Visiting over Critical Comments – Report

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avatar by i24 News

High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Josep Borrell speaks to members of the media as he attends a European Union (EU) Foreign Ministers’ meeting in Brussels, Belgium January 23, 2023. Photo: REUTERS/Johanna Geron

i24 News – Israel’s Foreign Ministry reportedly blocked the European Union High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Josep Borrell from visiting the country due to his recent critical comments about Israel.

Borrell, who has recently expressed interest in visiting Israel and the West Bank, on Tuesday voiced concerns over the Israeli government’s planned judicial reform. Last week, he also published an article in which he compared Israeli settler attacks in the West Bank to Palestinian terrorist attacks against Israelis. In addition, Borrell criticized Israeli military operations that “frequently cause civilian Palestinian deaths, often without effective accountability” and “illegal settlements” that are “expanding on occupied land.”

“There’s no reason to reward him (Borrell) for his conduct,” an official in the foreign ministry was quoted as saying by Hebrew media.

The move comes after Borrell on Tuesday addressed the European Parliament during a special session on “the deterioration of democracy in Israel” amid the ongoing protests against the judicial overhaul. He underlined that the EU would not interfere in internal Israeli politics, but “is fully empowered to discuss these dynamics and to understand what happens there with respect to our perception of values and interests in the region.”

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Israel’s Foreign Minister on Tuesday had a phone conversation with Borrell, where he condemned both his comments and the EU session.

“There’s no place for any comparison between Israeli terror victims and Palestinian terrorists supported by the Palestinian Authority,” Cohen said.

“The intervention of the European Union in Israeli internal politics and the financing of Palestinian activities that encourage incitement and payments to terrorist families must stop,” he stressed.

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