Czech minister admits mistake in describing Israeli ground operation as defensive

Czech Foreign Minister Karel Schwarzenberg admitted on Sunday that a “large” and “personal” mistake had been made by a spokesperson for the new Czech presidency of the European Union on Saturday, when he described Israel’s ground incursion into Gaza as “more defensive than offensive.”

Schwarzenberg said that the spokesperson had made a personal mistake, adding that the only declaration by the Czech Presidency of the EU was that which was published by the foreign ministry. He added that the first declaration had been a misunderstanding.

A Czech government spokesman, Jiri Frantisek Potuznik, had told AFP on Saturday, “At the moment, from our perspective, we do understand that the action is part of the defensive action of Israel (…) we do understand that it is more defensive than offensive. This is the position of the Czech prime minister.”

The spokesperson also said that the Israeli ground operation in Gaza was about the crossing of the Gaza border, “There is no violence, no victims, so we are waiting for more information, we would like more details,” he said.

Ref: Now