If no distinction is made between the deliberate killing of children by terrorists and the unintentional strikes on civilians during a military action against terrorism – then the terrorists win, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu said Wednesday in a further assault on comments made earlier by EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton.

Netanyahu’s comments came before a meeting with French Foreign Minister Alain Juppé, who arrived in Israel earlier in the day to take part in the funerals of the four French Jews killed in the terrorist attack in Toulouse.

While Netanyahu did not mention Ashton by name, it was clear what he had in mind when he expressed his appreciation for the clear line President Nicolas Sarkozy and the French government took against the Toulouse attack.

“I believe that the struggle against terrorism requires greater clarity,” he said. “Terrorism is a systematic and deliberate attack on civilians, a deliberate attack against children.

There is a substantial difference between such deliberate attacks against civilians and children, and unintentional strikes against civilians that are part of legitimate actions to fight terrorism.”

Ashton triggered a wave of Israeli criticism Monday when she lumped together the Toulouse attack with the death of children in Gaza.

Netanyahu also said it was necessary to fight “extraordinary propaganda against Israel and Jews everywhere, against innocents, which leads these people to perpetrate such barbaric acts.”

Before the funeral, Juppé met with President Shimon Peres and declared France’s commitment to fighting all manifestations of racism and anti-Semitism.

Racism, anti-Semitism and terrorism run counter to the French credo of liberty, equality and fraternity, and France will continue to use all energies at its disposal to stamp them out, Juppé said.

The French foreign minister said he had come to Israel to demonstrate solidarity with the people of Israel, who regard the murdered children as their children. In fact, he said, “their blood is that of both our nations.”

France and Israel have a strong and deep relationship, he continued. They may not always see eye-to-eye, but on central issues – such as the humanitarian values of human dignity and the war against terrorism – they are of one accord.

Israel’s safety and security is of great importance to France and his country will always defend Israel’s right to it, Juppé said, noting that “the president and prime minister had mobilized all the necessary forces to bring the [terrorist] barbarian to justice.”

Relating specifically to the tragedy which had brought him to Israel, he said, “There is total solidarity.”

Peres said that Juppé’s participation in the funerals was a profound expression of the strength of the relationship between Israel and France.

Israel stands in the frontlines of seeking peace and combating terrorism, said Peres, adding that “children are our greatest treasures and we must do everything to guarantee their safety.”

Peres commended the measures taken by France against Iran and terrorist organizations, and declared that the world must join forces against terrorist threats.

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