Israeli minister criticizes EU’s reaction


Yossi Lempkowicz

“EU again condemns terrorist murders of innocent Israelis by saying ‘violence can never be condoned,’” wrote Michael Oren, Israel’s Deputy Minister of Diplomacy, as he criticized the European Union’s response to the terrorist attack in which two Israelis were killed on Sunday at the Barkan industrial park in the Samaria region of the West Bank.

He added that “the E.U. never says that when terrorists kill Europeans. Could it be that the E.U. agrees with the Palestinian terrorist’s motivations just not his methods?”

Kim Levengrond Yehezkel, 29, from Rosh Ha’ayin, and Ziv Hajbi, 35, of Rishon Letzion, were shot dead by a 23-year-old Palestinian employee of a Barkan waste-management plant who bound their hands and shot them at close range.

E.U.’s Ambassador to Israel Emanuele Giaufret wrote following the attack: “Following the developing news on the attack in Barkan industrial area in the West Bank this morning. My condolences to the families of the victims. May the perpetrator be brought to justice. Violence can never be condoned.”

The Barkan Industrial Park, located near Ariel, employs some 8,000 people, approximately 60 percent of them Palestinians.

The owner of the factory, whose two Israeli employees were killed, said he hopes the killer was simply a bad egg, but added that his faith in coexistence initiatives had been rattled.

Rafi Alon, owner of Alon Group,  said he had always considered workers at his company, which employs many Palestinians, as “family.”

Shai Amichai, director general of the industrial zone, described the location as a model example of Israelis and Palestinians working side by side.

“Both in the industrial area and in the community itself, the cooperation is fruitful,” he told the Ynet news site. “We are in a relationship of neighborliness and professional relations at the highest level. The residents feel secure in their workplace, and many forge connections outside of their place of work.

“I do not know the security procedures of the zone,” he added. “But there was no decrease in the number of security forces in the region, neither overt nor undercover.”

The mayor of the nearby city of Ariel, Eli Shviro, told the Walla news site that “the industrial zones in which Jews and Palestinians work together are the path to coexistence in our region.”

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