Yuval Steinitz, who is Minister of Intelligence, International Relations and Strategic Affairs, said Thursday that European Parliament President Martin Schulz made “a serious error” in his address to the Knesset Wednesday.
Schultz quoted Palestinian incitement without even checking its veracity, Steinitz told Voice of Israel public radio.
Regarding the differences in water consumption between Israelis and Palestinian Authority (PA) residents, Steinitz said that the consumption in the PA is similar to the average in the Arab world and should not be compared to the average consumption in Israel, where the standard of living is higher.
"And yet,” he added, “Schulz is a friend of Israel, he opposes the boycott on it and in his speech, he also brought positive things.”
Steinitz's revelations come on the same day as it was also revealed that the statistics Schulz quoted were inaccurate even according to the Palestinian Authority's own records.
EU officials said Wednesday that Schulz was “surprised and hurt” by the negative reaction to his address by Jewish Home MKs and stressed that “he is a friend of Israel” who came to Jerusalem to "express support for Israel and strengthen it."
"He never imagined he would be embroiled into such a storm," they said. "His goal was to strengthen Israel, and the Israeli response reinforces those elements who have a negative attitude towards Israel.”
Schulz, who spoke in German, repeated as fact Palestinian Authority claims of Israeli discrimination regarding allocation of water in Judea and Samaria, and of a “blockade” on Gaza.