Foreign Ministry
Foreign MinistryFlash 90

Diplomats and ambassadors from 16 European countries arrived at the Foreign Ministry in Jerusalem about two weeks ago for a routine meeting with Foreign Ministry European Division head Aliza Bin-Noun about the situation in Judea and Samaria - but it escalated into a shouting battle and exploded, according to three European and Israeli diplomats, Walla News reported.

Representatives of the British-led European delegation came to the meeting mainly to present a joint official protest over reports of settler violence in Judea and Samaria. But ahead of the meeting, representatives of the various countries sought to add another issue to the diplomatic protest.

When the European diplomats arrived for a meeting with Bin-Noun, who previously served as Israel's ambassador to Paris, they began listing a wide range of issues such as construction in the sensitive E1 area near Ma'ale Adumim, construction in the Givat Hamatos neighborhood in eastern Jerusalem and the situation in Area C in Judea and Samaria.

Bin-Noun, who listened to the complaints and saw the long list in the protest letter that the European diplomats had submitted to her, reacted angrily and said that the European allegations were insulting. "After everything the new government in Israel has done for the Palestinians, you come to complain?"

Some of the European diplomats who attended the meeting said they were interested in having a professional and unemotional dialogue on issues that concerned them, but Bin-Noun refused to enter into a substantive discussion on the points they raised. "You're pissing me off," she told them in English. European diplomats said the atmosphere at the meeting was extremely difficult and that she got out of control very quickly. Some European ambassadors tried to reassure Bin-Noun but without success - And the meeting devolved into a shouting match.

Foreign Ministry spokesman Lior Hayat responded: "The dialogue with the Europeans on a variety of issues on the agenda includes the promotion of cooperation on many and varied issues along with disagreements. At the same time as warming relations, European positions and claims are sometimes presented in a way that is not acceptable to us and when that happens it is correct to respond to them clearly and sharply, even if our response is not pleasant to the European ear."