Hotovely and Giaufret
Hotovely and GiaufretElram Mandel/Foreign Ministry

Deputy Foreign Minister Tzipi Hotovely (Likud) met on Monday with the EU Ambassador to Israel, Emanuele Giaufret, and discussed the speech made a day earlier by Palestinian Authority (PA) Mahmoud Abbas, in which he rejected the connection of the Jewish people to Israel and Jerusalem.

"The European Union must condemn Abu Mazen's statement that Israel is a colonial project of the Europeans," said Hotovely. “Abu Mazen's serious words in his speech yesterday, which are a combination of lies and condemnation of the American administration, deserve harsh criticism.”

"The Palestinians cannot continue to fund terror and look for an embrace and support from the Europeans, through demands for unilateral recognition," Hotovely stressed.

"The European Union must act fairly towards Israel in its actions in the region and understand that it is the Palestinians who perpetuate the conflict through the use of UNRWA and their refusal to come to the negotiating table. We expect the EU not to continue to build illusions among the Palestinians: The American recognition of Jerusalem is the right and natural thing to do, and we expect the European countries to adopt the decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel,” she continued.

Hotovely’s remarks follow reports that Abbas, angry over U.S. President Donald Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem, is now planning to bypass the U.S. and Israel by asking EU foreign ministers to recognize a Palestinian state on the pre-1967 territories with eastern Jerusalem as its capital.

At the meeting with the EU ambassador, Hotovely also referred to the terrorist attack last week near Havat Gilad, in which Rabbi Raziel Shevach was murdered.

"A father of six children was brutally murdered in a shooting attack by Palestinians. The Palestinian Authority not only does not condemn such terrorist attacks but continues to provide a network of economic support for these murderers. A large part of the PA's money comes from European donations, and it is important to demand that the PA stop funding terrorists and their families," said the Deputy Minister.

Hotovely also stressed the need to change the nuclear agreement with Iran in light of the change in U.S. policy on the issue. Trump last week extended the waiver on Iran nuclear sanctions, but said it would be the last time he will do so, and demanded that European partners work with Washington to "fix the deal's disastrous flaws, or the United States will withdraw."

"We live in a non-democratic region and Israel is the only one that preserves our shared democratic values ​​and the only ones that protect the region from the spread of terrorism. The EU must stop its efforts to preserve and defend the nuclear agreement," said Hotovely.