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Israel reprimands France over ‘apartheid’ comment by ex-envoy to U.S.

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Israel said it summoned French ambassador, Helene Le Gal, over a remark made by her former counterpart in Washington that Israel was “an apartheid state.’’ Foreign Ministry said on Tuesday.

Israeli Foreign Ministry stated this on Tuesday and said that it had “vigorously protested” these comments.

“There will be officially an apartheid state. They are in fact ready,’’ the then outgoing French ambassador to the U.S., Gerard Araud, said in an interview with the Atlantic earlier this month.

On Monday, Rodica Radian-Gordon, head of Israel’s Foreign Ministry’s Europe division, summoned Le Gal for a talk to reprimand France over the remark.

“Israel has the West Bank, but at the same time they don’t have to make the painful decision about the Palestinians, really making them really, totally stateless or making them citizens of Israel.

“They won’t make them citizens of Israel. So they will have to make it official, which is we know the situation, which is an apartheid,’’ Araud had said.

Araud served as ambassador to Israel between 2003 and 2006.

Recently, France reportedly protested Israel’s February decision to freeze millions of dollars of funds for the Palestinian Authority, an amount which it says Palestine paid to terrorists and their families in 2018.

“Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, called France’s request to overturn the freeze diplomatically and morally wrong.

“It goes against European countries’ principles for fighting terror,’’ Netanyahu said.

Earlier this month, France also criticised Israel’s approval for more housing construction in West Bank settlements.

dpa/NAN

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