PA envoy to Ireland denies meeting Israeli counterpart
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PA envoy to Ireland denies meeting Israeli counterpart

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The Palestinian ambassador to Ireland, Jilan Wahba, denied on Saturday that she had met with her Israeli counterpart, Ophir Kariv.The denial came after The Irish Times revealed on June 2 that the Palestinian and Israeli ambassadors appeared together at a joint forum in Dublin for the first time.The report triggered protests and condemnations from some Palestinians who took to social media platforms to express outrage over the alleged meeting.Palestinian political activists regularly attack Palestinians who meet with Israelis and accuse them of “promoting normalization with the Israeli occupation.”Wahba and Kariv both spoke at the event organized by the Sonar Diplomacy, a non-profit which promotes multiculturalism and diplomacy, in
Trinity College, the newspaper reported.Organizers said it was the first time the two ambassadors have taken part in a joint event, according to the newspaper. “They did not speak to each other directly, instead addressing their remarks to the audience,” it added. “However, it is understood both representatives spoke on the sidelines of the event.”Responding to the report and criticism, Wahba threatened to take legal action against The Irish Times, the organizers of the event and “anyone who published fake news.”

I did not meet the Israeli ambassador,” the Palestinian envoy said in a statement. “I did not meet with him and I wasn’t with him at any place at Trinity College. How can I meet with someone who represents war criminals? This is slander and deception by the occupation to divert attention from the victory in the Irish parliament.”Wahba was referring to the Irish parliament’s recent approval of a resolution condemning Israeli “de facto annexation” in the West Bank. The motion, initiated by opposition party Sinn Féin, was supported by the Irish government.Husam Zomlot, the Palestinian ambassador to Britain, defended Wahba against the “defamation campaign.”“Due to the geographical and political proximity with Ireland, I have had the honor of working and coordinating with sister Jilan [Wahba] since I assumed my duties in Britain,” he wrote on Facebook. “Sister Jilan is not only an ambassador for her country, but a fighter full of passion and influential work with the friendly Irish people and their representatives, which was manifested in the historic Irish Parliament’s decision during the aggression against our people to consider the Israeli settlement as an illegal annexation of occupied lands. We know that the recent defamation campaign is the way of Israel and its traditional arms to scatter and weaken us.”

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