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Netanyahu: I won't meet diplomats who engage with groups that slander Israel.

BreakingNews @en di

On Tuesday, Netanyahu threatened to scrap his meeting with Gabriel if the German minister met with members of nongovernmental organizations Breaking the Silence and B’Tselem. Both organizations have been widely criticized by the Israeli Right for damaging Israel’s reputation abroad and putting Israeli soldiers and officials at risk of prosecution. Meanwhile, Gabriel told reporters the decision was “not nice” and had caught him by surprise, since he generally had an open relationship with Netanyahu. But he added that it did not spell “the end of diplomatic ties between the two countries”.”I regret it greatly. And, I’ll say it openly, we cannot become a political football for Israeli domestic politics”, he said. “But it’s not a catastrophe. There will be another occasion to meet somewhere. We have to let things cool off”. Gabriel underscored the importance of Germany’s ties to Israel during a meeting with Israeli President Reuven Rivlin, saying: “You can absolutely be sure we are committed to the friendship, the partnership and the special relationship with Israel, and nothing will change this”. B’Tselem issued a statement late on Tuesday that did not give any details of the meeting with Gabriel, but was highly critical of Netanyahu and the Israeli government’s policies and vowed to continue opposing them.

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