The PM told a German daily that he believes Germany’s FM Sigmar Gabriel should not have asked to meet with groups that oppose the Israeli control over the West Bank on the same week of the Holocaust Memorial Day.

Photo credit: Reuters/Channel 2 News

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has told the German daily newspaper Bild that he chose to cancel last week’s meeting with Sigmar Gabriel, Germany’s Foreign Minister, because of the latter’s meeting with leaders of left-wing organizations.

Gabriel, who visited Israel last week, had asked to meet with the heads of Breaking the Silence, a left-wing group which collects testimonies from former IDF soldiers and officers about mistreatment of the Palestinian population in the West Bank.

“They’re not a human rights organization,” Netanyahu said in the interview. “They are trying to incriminate Israel and are calling to convict IDF soldiers of war crimes.”

Netanyahu also said he was troubled by the fact that Gabriel’s meeting with left-wing groups took place around the time of the Holocaust Memorial Day and the Memorial Day for Fallen IDF Soldiers.

“I believe it was insensitive to request a meeting with these groups,” he said.