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Minister accuses UN envoy of mischaracterizing ties with Palestinian counterpart

Jacob Magid is The Times of Israel's US correspondent based in New York

Meretz MK Tamar Zandberg and Public Security Gilad Erdan attend a Special Committee meeting on Drug and Alcohol Abuse at the Knesset, on March 6, 2017. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)
Meretz's Tamar Zandberg and then-Public Security Gilad Erdan attend a Special Committee meeting on Drug and Alcohol Abuse at the Knesset, on March 6, 2017. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

Environmental Protection Minister Tamar Zandberg calls out Israeli UN Ambassador Gilad Erdan, claiming he mischaracterized her ties with her Palestinian counterpart during a speech the envoy gave to the Security Council in which he claimed that Ramallah is not interested in cooperating with Jerusalem.

“In his speech to the Security Council, the ambassador spoke about information he received from the Environmental Protection Ministry, but he used it in a manner that is incompatible with the truth and in a style that does not represent the minister’s position,” Zandberg’s office says in a statement to The Times of Israel.

In a speech yesterday during the monthly Security Council session on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Erdan referenced a meeting Zandberg held last summer with Palestinian Authority Environment Quality Authority Minister Jamil Mtour.

“This was the first meeting of its kind since 2014. And not because of Israel,” Erdan claimed. “Israel’s Minister Zandberg presented numerous collaborative initiatives regarding the environment and waste management, but Israel is still waiting for a response from the Palestinians.”

Zandberg’s office says that contrary to Erdan’s remarks, the sides have already launched joint projects in the fields of “environment and waste” and that “work is progressing well in a different atmosphere than before that is based on the understanding that climate change has no borders and that the two peoples will benefit from this collaboration.”

“The projects will continue to move forward in the spirit of cooperation for the benefit of the environment and for the benefit of the State of Israel and the Palestinians,” the statement from Zandberg’s office adds.

Erdan’s office declines a request for comment.

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