Israeli official lashed out at European delegation over settlement questions: report
An Israeli official yelled at a delegation of European diplomats during a recent meeting at the Israeli Foreign Ministry in Jerusalem, after the envoys raised objections to settlement building plans, according to a media report on Thursday.
The discussion, which took place two weeks ago, quickly descended into shouting after the Europeans raised concerns about the construction of settlements in occupied East Jerusalem’s Hamatos neighbourhood and in the E1 area between Jerusalem and the Ma'ale Adumim settlement.
The British-led delegation presented their concerns in a letter to Foreign Ministry official Aliza Ben Noun, who responded by berating the diplomats.
“After everything the new Israeli government has been doing for the Palestinians, you come to complain?” Ben Noun was quoted by the Israeli website Walla as saying.
Ben Noun then reportedly told the European diplomats, “You are pissing me off.”
The Europeans said the meeting broke down and concluded in a “big crisis”, according to Walla.
Liot Haiat, an Israeli Foreign Ministry spokesperson, indicated that the confrontation did take place, telling Walla: “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.”
After coming to power in June, Israel's government led by right-wing Prime Minister Naftali Bennett has approved the building of thousands of settlement units.
Israel occupied East Jerusalem in June 1967 and annexed it in 1981, in a move widely considered as illegal.
Both the eastern and the western sectors of Jerusalem have international status under international law until a political settlement to the conflict is reached.
Israeli settlements in East Jerusalem are considered illegal by the international community.
Under the fourth Geneva convention, regulating cases of armed conflict, an occupying power is not allowed to transfer its civilian population to occupied territory.