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Israel's Netanyahu hints at ending security cooperation with UK if Corbyn elected

Corbyn, a veteran pro-Palestine activist, and Netanyahu have clashed in the past. [Getty]

Date of publication: 28 November, 2019

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The embattled Israeli leader, who was charged last week with bribery, fraud and breach of trust, made the remarks during a visit to London in September.

Israel may no longer share intelligence with the UK if Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn is elected prime minister in upcoming elections, the country's premier Benjamin Netanyahu has hinted.

The comments, reported in the Daily Telegraph this week, were made in September when Netanyahu was asked if Israel would continue its security relationship with the UK if Corbyn became leader.

"What do you think?" Netanyahu told the Daily Telegraph.

The embattled Israeli leader, who was charged last week with bribery, fraud and breach of trust, made the remarks during a visit to London in September.

Read more: Israel's Netanyahu charged with bribery, fraud and breach

Corbyn, a veteran pro-Palestine activist, and Netanyahu have clashed in the past. Last year the Israeli leader criticised him for taking part in a wreath-laying ceremony in Tunisia that courted controversy.

The Labour leader hit back on Twitter, saying Netanyahu's claims were "false" and criticising Israel over the killing of protesters in Gaza.

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Corbyn said he visited the cemetery in Tunisia to honour innocent people killed in an Israeli airstrike in 1985, but faced criticism because it took place near memorials for those accused of being linked to the 1972 Munich massacre of Israeli athletes.

Labour has been dogged by allegations of widespread anti-Semitism among members since Corbyn took over in 2015.

The party carried out a review into the issue in 2016, which found anti-Semitism was not endemic within Labour but said there was an "occasionally toxic atmosphere".

Despite the suspension or expulsion of some members including former London mayor Ken Livingstone, senior leaders have been repeatedly accused of failing to tackle the problem.

Corbyn has admitted Labour has a "real problem" with anti-Semitism but insisted its investigation and disciplinary procedures were "rapid and effective".

The Labour leader is an anti-war campaigner and has been a vocal critic of Israeli policies towards Palestinians.

He has promised to immediately recognise the state of Palestine if elected, while calling to suspend arms sales to Israel "used in violation of the human rights of Palestinian civilians".

Agencies contributed to this report.

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