German Delegation: We Were Threatened by Hebron Settlers, IDF Did Nothing

Delegation of German lawmakers suspend tour of West Bank city after cursed, insulted by group of settlers.

German lawmakers touring the West Bank city of Hebron said Thursday they were threatened by Jewish settlers and broke off the visit after Israel Defense Forces troops refused to step in.

The IDF declined comment. In Berlin, the Israeli embassy apologized for the incident.

Seven members of the German parliament's law committee toured Hebron, the West Bank's largest city, on Wednesday. Israeli forces control the center of the Palestinian city to protect several hundred Jewish settlers there.

At the start of the visit, the legislators were cursed, insulted and threatened by a small group of settlers, the visitors said in a statement.

"The Israeli police and army showed no willingness to step in and said they couldn't guarantee the safety of the delegation," the statement said. "In order to give the peace process a chance, the members of the law committee, as friends of Israel, appeal to the Israeli authorities to rein in the fanaticism of Jewish settlers."

The legislators represented a range of parties.

The Israeli ambassador in Germany, Yoram Ben-Zeev, spoke to the lawmakers by phone, said embassy spokesman Aaron Sagui.

"The ambassador here has expressed his regret for the incident and during the next week Ambassador Ben-Zeev intends to meet personally with each one of the members of the committee that were part of this delegation to express personally his feelings and to apologize for what has happened," Sagui said.