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EU demands 'full clarification' from Israel over army's assault against European diplomats

January 30, 2014 at 10:44 am

The European Union is demanding that Israel provide a full clarification over the Israeli army’s assault against European diplomats on Friday, especially the manhandling of a French diplomat. The diplomats were trying to deliver a truck full of tents and emergency aid to Palestinians whose homes were demolished last weekend.

Haaretz reported on Sunday that the EU’s Ambassador called Israel’s Foreign Ministry on Saturday evening to express his concern over the army’s assault against the European diplomats.

According to the newspaper, Israel’s Europe official in the Foreign Ministry responded that the existing Palestinian construction at the site had already been declared illegal; therefore, the European diplomats took part in an illegal act as well.

The Israeli official also commented on the assault against French diplomat Marion Castaing in particular, explaining that the soldiers only resorted to force after Castaing allegedly slapped one of them. Israel holds the diplomats responsible for the incident and authorities are reportedly considering the possibility of banishing Castaing.

According to Reuters, Israeli soldiers were confiscating a truck carrying tents and emergency aid when they dragged the French diplomat from the truck and threw her to the ground.

A reporter for Reuters witnessed firsthand Israeli soldiers throwing sound grenades in the direction of the European diplomats and later manhandling Castaing.

The incident took place when the Palestinians and diplomats were trying to set up tents on their lands in Khirbet Makhoul, a Palestinian village in the Jordan Valley, to replace the homes demolished by Israeli forces last weekend.

Castaing told Reuters that: “They dragged me out of the truck and forced me to the ground with no regard for my diplomatic immunity. This is how international law is being respected here.”