Israeli Prime Minister blasts Jeremy Corbyn over Munich Massacre memorial claims
Jeremy Corbyn has come under fire from Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu over his attendance at a wreath-laying service said to have honoured the group behind the Munich Massacre.
In a significant intervention, the Israeli leader said Mr Corbyn deserved "unequivocal condemnation" amid claims he laid a wreath on the graves of members of the Black September terror group, which killed 11 Israeli athletes in 1972.
But the Labour leader shot back, saying the claims were "false" and criticising the Israeli government policy towards Palestinians.
Labour has insisted the party boss did not honour the terror leaders at the 2014 memorial in Tunisia, but was instead at a service for 47 Palestinians killed in an Israeli air strike in 1985.
However, the Daily Mail this weekend published pictures it said showed Mr Corbyn standing 15 yards away from the monument to the air strike victims and in front of the graves of the alleged Black September members.
Wading into the row, Mr Netanyahu's office said: "The laying of wreath by Jeremy Corbyn on the graves of the terrorist who perpetrated the Munich massacre and his comparison of Israel to the Nazis deserves unequivocal condemnation from everyone – left, right and everything in between."
However Mr Corbyn hit back: "Israeli PM @Netanyahu's claims about my actions and words are false.
"What deserves unequivocal condemnation is the killing of over 160 Palestinian protesters in Gaza by Israeli forces since March, including dozens of children."
The spat comes after Mr Corbyn admitted that he had been present at the memorial, but said he did not "think" that he was involved in the wreath-laying for members of the Palestinian terror group who were later killed.
Speaking to Sky News this afternoon, the Labour leader said: "A wreath was indeed laid by some of those who attended the conference to those who were killed in Paris in 1992.
"I was present when it was laid - I don’t think I was actually involved in it."
He added: "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.
"We cannot pursue peace by a cycle of violence. The only way to pursue peace is through a cycle of dialogue."
Jewish Labour MP Luciana Berger has meanwhile called on the Labour leader to apologise for his attendance at the event, saying that his “presence alone” demonstrated his “association and support.”
Ms Berger, who has been outspoken in her criticism of Mr Corbyn amid the party's ongoing anti-Semitism row, said: 'Being ‘present’ is the same as being involved. When I attend a memorial, my presence alone, whether I lay a wreath or not, demonstrates my association and support."
She added: "There can also be a 'fitting memorial' for terrorists. Where is the apology?"
A Labour spokesperson said: "As has been consistently stated, Jeremy Corbyn visited the Palestine National Cemetery in Tunisia to support Palestinian rights and honour the victims of the illegal 1985 airstrike, many of whom were civilians, on the PLO's headquarters - an attack condemned by the UN.
"Jeremy did not lay any wreath at the graves of those alleged to have been linked to the Black September organisation or the 1972 Munich killings. He of course condemns that terrible attack, as he does the 1985 bombing."