Netanyahu lashes out at French FM after 'apartheid' risk comment
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Wednesday slammed the "hypocritical and mendacious moralising" remarks of French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian, who warned of possible "long-lasting apartheid" in Israel.
Speaking about intercommunal violence between Jews and Arabs that erupted in several Israeli cities during the latest conflict in Gaza, Le Drian said the "risk of apartheid is high" without an independent Palestinian state alongside Israel.
"If in the future we had a solution other than the two-state solution, we would have the ingredients of long-lasting apartheid," Le Drian told RTL radio and Le Figaro newspaper in a Sunday interview.
On Wednesday, Netanyahu expressed his "sharp protest" against the French government, following what he called Le Drian's "outrageous" remarks.
"The minister said that Israel was liable to become an apartheid state -– a brazen, false claim that is without any foundation," Netanyahu said in a video recording issued by his office.
"We will not accept any hypocritical and mendacious moralising on this issue," he added.
Israeli air strikes and artillery fire on Gaza killed 254 Palestinians, including 66 children, and wounded more than 1,900 people in 11 days of conflict from May 10.
Rocket and other fire from Gaza killed 12 people in Israel, including three foreign workers and a child. Some 357 people in Israel were also wounded.
The US-based group Human Rights Watch and Israel's B'Tselem recently accused Israel of running an "apartheid" system.