PM slams Ashton comments before meeting Juppe

If no distinction is made between pre-meditated, unintentional killing of civilians, then terrorists win, Netanyahu says.

March 21, 2012 14:12
1 minute read.
Binyamin Netanyahu with French FM Alain Juppe

Binyamin Netanyahu with French FM Alain Juppe 390. (photo credit: Amos Ben Gershom/GPO)


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

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

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While Netanyahu did not mention Ashton by name, it was clear what he had in mind when he said he appreciated the clear line against the terrorist attack in Toulouse taken by French President Nicolas Sarkozy and the French government.

"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 lumping together the attack in Toulouse 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."

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