ISRAEL AT WAR - DAY 144

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FM Cohen accuses EU foreign policy chief of equating Israeli terror victims with terrorists

Lazar Berman is The Times of Israel's diplomatic reporter

Composite image: On left, European Union foreign policy chief Josep Borrell arrives for the EU-ASEAN summit in Brussel, December 14, 2022; On right, Foreign Minister Eli Cohen  at a ceremony at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Jerusalem, January 2, 2023. (AP Photo/Olivier Matthys; Olivier Fitoussi/Flash90)
Composite image: On left, European Union foreign policy chief Josep Borrell arrives for the EU-ASEAN summit in Brussel, December 14, 2022; On right, Foreign Minister Eli Cohen at a ceremony at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Jerusalem, January 2, 2023. (AP Photo/Olivier Matthys; Olivier Fitoussi/Flash90)

In a conversation with Josep Borrell, Foreign Minister Eli Cohen blasts the European Union foreign policy chief for allegedly drawing a comparison between Palestinian terror attacks and IDF operations, the Foreign Ministry says.

“There is no place for comparisons and creating a balance between Israeli terror victims and Palestinian terrorists supported by the Palestinian Authority,” says Cohen, according to the Israeli readout.

In an article last week, Borrell wrote that “indiscriminate attacks and violence are taking many Israeli lives.”

“Violence on the part of Israeli settlers in the West Bank is increasingly threatening Palestinian lives and livelihoods – almost always with impunity,” he continued. “Moreover, Israeli military operations frequently cause civilian Palestinian deaths, often without effective accountability; illegal settlements are expanding on occupied land; and the delicate status quo concerning Holy Sites is eroding.”

Cohen also asks that the EU refrain from interfering in internal political issues, a reference to the ongoing fight over judicial reform in Israel.

Cohen tells his interlocutor that the EU’s positions on Israel continue to be slanted, and demands that the union take into account Israel’s complex security reality.

The foreign minister has made similar statements recently. In a press conference last night with Italian Foreign Minister Antonio Tajani, Cohen asked his counterpart to work to prevent European involvement in Israel’s domestic matters and in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

The EU spokesperson’s office declines to comment.

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