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Netanyahu’s son wants British diplomats ‘kicked out’ of Israel

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (L) and his son Yair at Al-Aqsa's Buraq Wall (also known as the Western Wall) on 18 March 2015 in Jerusalem [AFP]
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (L) and his son Yair on 18 March 2015 in Jerusalem [AFP]

The son of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu hopes that British diplomats will soon be “kicked out” of Israel following a tweet by consulate staff in Jerusalem in which the Palestinian territories were referred to as “occupied”.

Yair Netanyahu, who is known for his controversial outbursts on social media, made the comments late on Friday after the British Consulate announced that Prince Charles will be making his first visit to the area in January. The consulate in Jerusalem represents the British government in the city as well as the West Bank and Gaza Strip.

Prince Charles, it was revealed on 18 December, will visit the Occupied Palestinian Territories next month. The Prince of Wales will meet Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in the West Bank, where the heir to the throne will “undertake engagements”.

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“God willing you guys will be kicked out of Israel soon,” wrote the Prime Minister’s 28-year-old son. “Until then, I’m thinking of visiting the occupied lands of Scotland or Wales, which would you recommend?”

Responses to Yair Netnayahu’s explosive comment highlighted the major differences in human rights between the occupied territories and constituent parts of the United Kingdom. They pointed out, for example, that British citizens in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland have full civil and political rights, unlike Palestinians living under Israeli occupation, and so such a comparison is invalid.

Netanyahu Junior later hit out at an Israeli journalist, Barak Ravid, who is currently working for Channel 13 News, calling him a “fool” for criticising his comments and attempting to defend them by claiming that the British Consulate in Jerusalem “pretends to be the embassy to the non-existing country of ‘Palestine’.”

He added that “Northern Ireland is recognised as part of Britain by the entire world” and “nobody disputes Britain sovereignty there and claims [that] it belongs to the Republic of Ireland.” The status of Northern Ireland is, of course, challenged by Irish Republicans who want Ireland to be reunited as a single Irish state.

The “Occupied Palestinian Territories” is used by the UN to describe the West Bank and the other areas in historic Palestine that Israel seized during the 1967 Six Day War.

This is not the first time that Yair Netanyahu has courted trouble on social media. In April, he was trolled after attempting to claim that Palestine never existed because there is no letter “P” in the Arabic language. Responses pointed out that, using own logic, this would mean that Jews do not exist, given the absence of the letter “J” in the Hebrew language. He was also banned from Facebook in December for anti-Muslim hate speech and inciting against Palestinians.

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