Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has called off a meeting with German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel, Netanyahu’s spokesman said. The cancelation is reportedly due to Gabriel’s plans to meet human rights groups critical of Israel’s actions in the West Bank.
Earlier Israeli media including Haaretz, the Jerusalem Post and Channel 2 cited sources as saying that Netanyahu’s office made it clear he will not sit down with Gabriel unless the German minister gives up on plans to meet with Israeli rights groups Breaking the Silence and B’Tselem.
Breaking the Silence collects testimonies from former Israel Defense Forces (IDF) soldiers about the military’s treatment of Palestinians in the occupied West Bank, saying “cases of abuse towards Palestinians, looting, and destruction of property have been the norm for years.”
B’Tselem is an organization which brings together prominent Israeli academics, attorneys, journalists, and Knesset (Israeli parliament) members. Their goal is to track human rights violations in the West Bank, raise awareness among the Israeli public and policymakers about such cases, and promote a “human rights culture.” Read more here.