JERUSALEM – Israeli leaders on Tuesday denounced the European Union´s
top diplomat for linking a deadly shooting attack at a Jewish school
in France and Israeli military attacks that kill Palestinian children.
EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton later said her comments
were "grossly distorted."
At a conference on young Palestinian refugees Monday, Ashton spoke of
children killed "in all sorts of terrible circumstances," including
the shooting in Toulouse, France, and events "happening in Gaza."
Israel´s prime minister, defense minister and foreign minister all
denounced the linkage. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said in a
statement that he was incensed by "the parallel between the pinpoint
slaughter of children ... and the Israeli military´s defensive
surgical strikes against terrorists who use children as live shields."
Gaza militants often operate within residential neighborhoods of the
densely populated territory.
In her clarification, Ashton said her remarks referred to "tragedies
taking the lives of children and around the world and drew no
parallel whatsoever between the circumstances of the Toulouse attack
and the situation in Gaza."