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  1. ITV Report

Jeremy Corbyn hits back at Benjamin Netanyahu criticism after clarifying his role at controversial wreath-laying

Jeremy Corbyn has said Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's claim the Labour leader laid a wreath on the graves of terrorists is false.

Mr Netanyahu made the claim after Mr Corbyn played down his photographed role at a 2014 ceremony at Palestinian Martyr’s Cemetery in Tunisia.

In a tweet from his official @IsraeliPM account, Benjamin Netanyahu accused the Labour leader of honouring one of the men behind the Munich Olympics massacre.

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Mr Corbyn hit back on Twitter and said Mr Netanyahu's administration "deserves unequivocal condemnation" for the deaths of Palestinian protesters over recent months.

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Mr Netanyahu's comments came after the Daily Mail published photos of Mr Corbyn at the Palestinian Martyr’s Cemetery in Tunisia, an event he says he attended because he "wanted to see a fitting memorial to everyone who's died in every terrorist incident".

Mr Corbyn attempted to play down his role when questioned on Monday.

Asked about the incident during a visit to Walsall, he said: "A wreath was indeed laid by some of those who attended conference to those that were killed in Paris in 1992.

"I was present when it was laid. I don’t think I was actually involved in it (laying it).

"I was there because I wanted to see a fitting memorial to everyone who has died in every terrorist incident everywhere because we have to end it.

"You cannot pursue peace by a cycle of violence. The only way you pursue peace is a cycle of dialogue."

The Labour leader has faced a backlash after the Daily Mail published photos of his presence at the Tunisia ceremony, including a call from Home Secretary Sajid Javid to quit.

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Ankie Spitzer and Ilana Romano, whose husbands Andre and Yossef were among 11 athletes taken hostage and killed at the 1972 Munich Olympics, said they were "extremely disturbed" and said the Labour leader would be "judged by the company you keep".

Mrs Spitzer and Mrs Romano told the Jewish News: "We do not recall a visit of Mr Corbyn to the graves of our murdered fathers, sons and husbands.

"They only went to the Olympic Games in order to participate in this festival of love, peace and brotherhood; but they all returned home in coffins.

"For Mr Corbyn to honour these terrorists is the ultimate act of maliciousness, cruelty and stupidity."

A tweet on the official Labour press team account on Sunday said the Munich widows were "being misled".

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Labour said Mr Corbyn had already made clear he was paying his respects to the victims of a 1985 Israeli air strike on Palestinian Liberation Organisation offices in Tunis.

But the Mail said its own visit to the graveyard showed that the pictures were taken in front of a plaque honouring the founder of Black September, which carried out the massacre, while the air strike memorial was 15 yards away.

The pictures emerged amid continuing controversy over Labour’s refusal to adopt in full an international definition of anti-Semitism, including a list of examples of anti-Semitic behaviour.