Israel Slams EU After Video Shows French Diplomat Striking Soldier

September 23, 2013

2 min read

Be in pain, and labour to bring forth, O daughter of Zion, like a woman in travail; for now shalt thou go forth out of the city, and shalt dwell in the field, and shalt come even unto Babylon; there shalt thou be rescued; there shall the LORD redeem thee from the hand of thine enemies. (Micha 4:10)

French diplomat Marion Fesneau-Castaing pushing an IDF soldier during the Friday incident. (Photo: Screen Shot/YouTube)
French diplomat Marion Fesneau-Castaing pushing an IDF soldier during the Friday incident. (Photo: Screen Shot/YouTube)

A skirmish in the West Bank on Saturday, where Palestinian supporters hurled rocks and beating Israeli soldiers, drew fierce criticism from the European Union after the IDF was forced to use crowd-controlling methods, according to The Times of Israel. In the scuffle, French diplomat Marion Fesneau-Castain claimed that a soldier pulled her out of her car and thew her to the ground. EU Humanitarian Aid Commissioner Kristalina Georgieva said “the EU deplores the confiscation of humanitarian assistance carried out by Israeli security forces yesterday in Khirbet al-Makhul. EU representatives have already contacted the Israeli authorities to demand an explanation and expressed their concern at the incident.”

However, videos of the event that were uploaded to the internet shortly after show that Fesneau-Castain clearly fell on the floor on her own in order to provoke the IDF, was helped up by a soldier, at which point she shoved the very same soldier who had came to her aid.

The Israeli Foreign Ministry released a statement saying a demand from the European Union for answers over the incident a day earlier “ignores the European diplomats’ blunt violation of the law, their disregard of a ruling of the Israeli court and their unnecessary provocation under the alleged pretext of humanitarian aid,” adding that “the European diplomats and their governments owe an explanation to [sic] this blatant violation of diplomatic codes of conduct.”

The protest had broken out following the IDF’s seizure of a truck they claimed was filled with building materials to construct new illegal homes. The EU said the truck was filled with emergency aid for the Palestinians, whose homes had recently been demolished by court order after it was determined they were sitting on an IDF training ground, according to the Times.

Israeli Foreign Ministry spokesman Paul Hirschson said a formal complaint might be filed with the French over the diplomat’s involvement. “If she did participate, then a formal complaint will be filed — because that is not the way diplomats behave,” he said. The French Embassy declined to comment to The Associated Press.

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