Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu called German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel to explain his decision to cancel their meeting Tuesday. However, the minister refused to talk with Netanyahu.
Netanyahu cancelled the meeting after Gabriel refused to cancel a meeting with radical leftist organizations B'Tselem and Breaking the Silence.
The Prime Minister's Office released a statement explaining Netanyahu's reasons for cancelling the meeting.
"Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's policy is not to meet with diplomats who visit Israel and meet with organizations that defame IDF soldiers and seek to prosecute them as war criminals," the prime minister's office said.
"The same diplomats will not consider meeting in the US or Britain with representatives of organizations calling for the prosecution of American or British soldiers. The Israel Defense Forces and its soldiers are the basis of our existence. Relations with Germany are very important to Israel and will continue."
Gabriel was informed that his meeting with the Prime Minister was cancelled during a meeting with President Reuven Rivlin.
"The Israeli ambassador has informed us that - to my regret - the meeting with Netanyahu has been cancelled," Gabriel told the German Bild newspaper.
He added that his views on the German-Israeli relationship had not changed.