Berlusconi fails to notice apartheid wall


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Date Published: February 4, 2010

Source: The Palestine Telegraph

 Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi travelled along the road from Jerusalem to Bethlehem on Wednesday but he said the failed to notice the eight-meter-high Israeli apartheid wall.

At a joint news conference with the Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, an Italian journalist asked Berlusconi about his impressions of the apartheid wall. “I’m going to let you down because I didn’t notice,” Berlusconi replied.

The Italian leader said he had not paid attention to the wall despite that the fact that Palestinian sources confirmed that protocol obliged Berlusconi to get out in the cold and rain to switch from an Israeli car to a Palestinian one at the Israeli checkpoint in the wall, where a steel gate controls access to and from the West Bank.

“I was getting my thoughts in order on what I would say to the president,” he said. “I apologize for that.”

The wall at Bethlehem is part of a long barrier, which Israel claims is necessary to prevent armed Palestinians from reaching its cities from the West Bank.

“We opposed Goldstone who tried to incriminate Israel for responding to Hamas rocket firing. I am proud that Italy knew to act on time during the bombing of Haifa, Tel Aviv and Jerusalem. Italy is proud of gestures such as our government’s refusal to attend the second Durban conference which sought to make intolerable accusations of racism and violence against Israel,” Berlusconi said in the Knesset plenum on Wednesday.

Nevertheless, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas welcomed Berlusconi and called him a dear friend. He did not comment on Berlusconi’s address in the Knesset and thanked him for his interest in the Palestinian case.

Bethlehem, February 4, 2010 (Pal Telegraph) – Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi travelled along the road from Jerusalem to Bethlehem on Wednesday but he said the failed to notice the eight-meter-high Israeli apartheid wall.

At a joint news conference with the Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, an Italian journalist asked Berlusconi about his impressions of the apartheid wall. “I’m going to let you down because I didn’t notice,” Berlusconi replied.

The Italian leader said he had not paid attention to the wall despite that the fact that Palestinian sources confirmed that protocol obliged Berlusconi to get out in the cold and rain to switch from an Israeli car to a Palestinian one at the Israeli checkpoint in the wall, where a steel gate controls access to and from the West Bank.

“I was getting my thoughts in order on what I would say to the president,” he said. “I apologize for that.”

The wall at Bethlehem is part of a long barrier, which Israel claims is necessary to prevent armed Palestinians from reaching its cities from the West Bank.

“We opposed Goldstone who tried to incriminate Israel for responding to Hamas rocket firing. I am proud that Italy knew to act on time during the bombing of Haifa, Tel Aviv and Jerusalem. Italy is proud of gestures such as our government’s refusal to attend the second Durban conference which sought to make intolerable accusations of racism and violence against Israel,” Berlusconi said in the Knesset plenum on Wednesday.

Nevertheless, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas welcomed Berlusconi and called him a dear friend. He did not comment on Berlusconi’s address in the Knesset and thanked him for his interest in the Palestinian case.

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