Israeli energy minister blasts EU over calls to investigate police brutality against Palestinians

Israeli energy minister blasts EU over calls to investigate police brutality against Palestinians

- Israel’s energy minister attacked the EU over its call for investigation of Israel police's brutality against Palestinians

- He accused the EU of harassing Israel while it ignored Iran’s support for terrorism, violating women’s rights, etc.

- Israel’s public security minister also accused EU of being a biased and obsessive body

Israel's energy minister Yuval Steinitz attacked the European Union on Wednesday, May 23, saying the EU can "go to a thousand thousand hells" over its call to investigate Israel police's brutality against Palestinians, Haaretz reports.

Steinitz had earlier allegedly praised Israel's ties with the EU during the May 9 celebrations of Europe Day at the residence of the EU ambassador to Israel.

Israeli energy minister blasts EU over calls to investigate police brutality against Palestinians

Energy minister Yuval Steinitz with EU ambassador to Israel Emanuele Giaufret during Europe Day, May 9 2018. Credit: Ariel Zandberg / EU mission to Israel Facebook page

The EU on Tuesday, May 22, condemned Israeli police's crackdown on Israeli Arab protesters in Haifa after they demonstrated against the high death toll at the border with Gaza.

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In the statement, the EU also said: "It will also beimportant, as supported by the Israeli government to conduct a swift investigation into circumstances surrounding events last week in Haifa which appeared to result in serious injury of Jafar Farah, Director of the NGO Mossawa, the Advocacy Centre for Arab Citizens in Israel".

Steinitz, however, blasted the EU over the statement.

"Let them go to a thousand thousand hells," Steinitz reportedly told a local radio, while also slamming the EU as “hypocritical.”

"The EU is now sucking up to Iran and will help [Tehran] against US sanction," he said.

Steinitz allegedly complained that the EU is "harassing" Israel while "Iran is carrying out executions, torturing homosexuals, violating women's rights, supporting terrorism and Assad, who is spreading chemical weapons to his people."

He reportedly said that Farah, who accused police of breaking his knee after he was arrested, was already being investigated by the Justice Ministry.

Steinitz said that he "sent to hell the European Union which doesn't really represent the European nations. This is an organization that no one is leading and is less friendly to Israel than the European states themselves."

The EU is one of Israel's largest trade partners, with total trade worth of 36 billion euros a year. Israeli exports to the EU in 2017 increased by some 20%, bringing EU's share in Israeli exports to a historical high of 34%.

Israel and the EU have extensive institutional cooperation investment programs under various agreements.

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As many as 21 activists were detained by police following the march in Haifa, including the head of the Mossawa Advocacy Center Jafar Farah, who was allegedly injured after being arrested by police.

Public security minister Gilad Erdan responded to the EU's demand, saying that "Israel, as the only democracy in the Middle East, does not need moralistic warning calls from a biased and obsessive body like the EU." previously reported that the government of Iran said on Tuesday, May 15, that Israeli operatives should be tried as war criminals over the "brutal massacre" of Gazan protesters on Monday, May 14.

Bahram Ghasemi, the spokesman for Iran's foreign ministry said: "The killing of children, women and defenceless people of Palestine and the occupation of Palestinian lands has become the main strategy of theZionists over the 70 years of occupation."

Ghasemi urged the international community to take "immediate action" and declare Israelis as "war criminals in international courts".

This was following the gruesome report that not less than 59 Palestinians were murdered and thousands injured by Israeli forces on Monday, May 14 as they protested along the Gaza border against the opening of the new US embassy in Jerusalem.

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