In Israel politicians have reacted angrily to comments made in the wake of the shootings in Toulouse. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has criticised what he perceives to be comparisons by EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton of the killings in France to deaths of children in the Gaza Strip.
“What gets me especially incensed is the comparison between the targeted slaughter of children, including the finishing off of a girl, and the surgical, defensive activities of the Israel Defence Forces that are meant to hit terrorists who use children for human shields,” he said.
It was in Brussels at a conference on Palestinian refugees where Catherine Ashton made the comments. Her spokesman denied she drew a parallel between Gaza and the deaths in Toulouse, saying her original comments were grossly distorted by a news agency.
This is what she said: “When we remember what happened in Toulouse today, when you remember what happened when I was in Norway last week a year ago, when we know what is happening in Syria, when you see what has happened in Gaza and Sderot, in different parts of the world, we remember young people and children who lose their lives.”
The Israeli Defence Minister added his voice to the diplomatic row. Ehud Barak said the grouping of the Gaza violence with the Toulouse shootings and the fighting in Syria was, “infuriating and detached from reality”.