Martin Schulz, European Parliament President, Angers Israelis With West Bank Comments

EU Chief's Speech On Palestinian Plight Sparks Israeli Fury

Israeli MPs have walked out of a speech by the chief of the European Parliament after he raised the plight of Palestinians in the West Bank.

Martin Schulz's German address to the Knesset, the Israeli Parliament, was branded "duplicitous propaganda" by one furious politician.

The passage that came in for heavy criticism was when Schulz talked of a visit to Ramallah, saying: "One of the questions these young people asked me which I found most moving – although I could not check the exact figures – was this: how can it be that an Israeli is allowed to use 70 litres of water per day, but a Palestinian only 17?"

According to the BBC, Schulz was heckled by Jewish Home members, while some walked out.

Israel's national water provider reportedly confirmed his figures had been wrong.

Writing on Facebook, Jewish Home leader Naftali Bennett said: "I call on the Chairman of the European Parliament to retract two false statements he made before the Knesset this afternoon.

"I urge the Prime Minister to request this clarification immediately for the sake of Israel's national honour.

"We cannot forgive this insult on the national dignity of the State of Israel."

He added: "I will not accept a false moralising narrative against Israel in our parliament, in our Knesset. Certainly not in German."

Earlier in his speech, Schulz said: "Two days ago I spoke with young people in Ramallah.

"Like young people everywhere in the world, their dream is to train, study and travel, to find work and to start a family.

"But they have another dream as well, one which concerns something most young people take for granted: they want to be able to live freely in their own country, with no threat of violence, with no restrictions on their freedom of movement.

"The Palestinian people, like the Israeli people, have the right to fulfil their dream of creating their own viable democratic state. The Palestinians, just like the Israelis, have the right to self-determination and justice."

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