Ashton’s remarks spark anger in Israel
JERUSALEM / BRUSSELSIsraeli leaders slammed the EU’s foreign policy chief for remarks she made drawing a parallel between Toulouse attack and the plight of children in Gaza.
After the incident, Ashton paid tribute to children “who have been killed in all sorts of terrible circumstances,” referring to a fatal coach crash in Switzerland, a massacre in Norway, the situation in Syria, the Toulouse shooting and “what is happening in Gaza and in different parts of the world.”
“What especially outrages me is the comparison between a targeted massacre of children and the surgical defensive actions of the IDF (Israel Defence Forces), intended to strike at terrorists using children as human shields,” Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said, Agence France-Presse reported.
Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman said there could be no comparison between the Toulouse shooting and the situation in Gaza.
“The children Ashton should be talking about are those in the south of Israel who live in fear after the rocket attacks coming from the Gaza Strip.” The EU later denied that Ashton drew a parallel between the shooting and the situation in Gaza. Her spokesman Michael Mann insisted that her words were “grossly distorted.” “In her remarks, the High Representative referred to tragedies taking the lives of children around the world and drew no parallel whatsoever between the circumstances of the Toulouse attack and the situation in Gaza,” he said.