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Israel rebuffs EU over criticizing West Bank annexation goal

Israeli Foreign Minister Israel Katz took issue with EU foreign representative Josep Borrell warning against possible annexationist policies of a new Israeli government despite his not obtaining the backing of all European Union states.
European High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and Vice-President of the European Commission Josep Borrell, holds a virtual news conference on the approval of Operation Irini, at the European Commission in Brussels, Belgium March 31, 2020.  REUTERS/Francois Lenoir/Pool - RC2YUF9VU8ZQ

Israeli Foreign Minister Israel Katz on April 23 slammed Josep Borrell, the European Union’s high representative for foreign affairs, for personally reiterating the EU’s opposition to Israel's annexation of areas on the West Bank. Targeting Borrell, Katz remarked in a statement, “It’s unfortunate that Josep Borrell, who pretends to be responsible for the foreign relations of the European Union, chooses in this manner to welcome a new government over a central partner to the EU and prefers to see relations between Israel and the EU through the prism of the [COVID-19] pandemic and the ‘status of the territories.’”

Katz also questioned the legitimacy of Borrell going on the offensive against Israel, arguing that Brussels has failed to mobilize support from all the EU member states on the issue. “We wonder which states the honorable gentleman is choosing to represent,” Katz said mockingly. He then thanked unidentified EU members for not backing Borrell’s statement.

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