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Israel official yells 'you are pissing me off' to EU diplomats

Former Israeli Ambassador to France Aliza Bin-Noun on September 25, 2016 [THOMAS SAMSON/AFP via Getty Images]
Former Israeli Ambassador to France Aliza Bin-Noun on September 25, 2016 [THOMAS SAMSON/AFP via Getty Images]

Diplomats and ambassadors from 16 European countries were given a dressing-down by Israeli officials recently when they raised objections to Israel's illegal settlement policy and ongoing occupation of the West Bank.

The incident took place two weeks ago, when the European delegation arrived at the Foreign Ministry for a routine meeting, according to Israeli sources. The European diplomats were expected to raise the worrying rise in settler violence as an issue of concern but their probing of Israeli policy in the West Bank is said to have angered their counterparts in Tel-Aviv.

The concerns were presented by the British-led delegation in an official letter to Aliza Bin Noun, Israel's former ambassador to France, who now serves as the director of the European Affairs Department at the Foreign Ministry, according to the Time of Israel.

Bin Noun responded that the letter was insulting and shot back saying: "After everything the new Israeli government has been doing for the Palestinians, you come to complain?"

Refusing to address the concerns raised by the European diplomats, Bin Noun reportedly shouted back: "You are pissing me off."

READ: Labelling of goods from occupied Palestinian land is longstanding policy

Apparently, the hostility was so bad that it quickly got out of control, with the meeting breaking down and ending in a "big crisis," European diplomats are reported saying.

Justifying their rude behaviour, Israel's Foreign Ministry spokesperson, Liot Haiat, confirmed the report saying that "sometimes, European positions are presented in a manner that is unacceptable to us and this deserves a sharp and clear response, even if our reaction isn't nice toward the Europeans."

Israel's behaviour has been a never-ending concern for the Europeans, who have failed to get Israel to move in line with international law on major issues, like the construction of illegal Jewish only settlements. Under international law, settlements are illegal as is the transfer of civilian population, now numbering nearly a million, to Jewish only settlements.

In a recent delegation to the Sheikh Jarrah neighbourhood in occupied East Jerusalem, officials reiterated the EU position: During the visit, Burgsdorff appealed to Israel to halt the eviction of Palestinians from their homes to make way for Jewish settlers, asking: "How on earth is it possible that a family can be evicted at Christmas, in the middle of the winter?"

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