Israeli Ambassador to the United Nations Danny Danon and his Palestinian counterpart sparred during a U.N. Security Council discussion on Thursday about Israel’s aid to the Palestinian Authority during the current coronavirus (COVID-19) worldwide outbreak.

Palestinian representative to the United Nations Riyad Mansour claimed in his speech that “this pandemic has only further highlighted the absurdity, immorality and illegality of Israel’s crimes and the urgency of bringing them to an end right now.” As the virus spreads, he asked, “how can Israel justify destroying homes, clinics and humanitarian assistance and medical neglect of prisoners?”

Mansour added that if Israel chooses to go ahead with annexation, then “it should not be surprised by the chain of events that will unfold.”

His remarks follow a letter the Palestinians issued to the U.N. Security Council that accuses Israel of disrupting efforts by the P.A. to combat COVID-19 in the West Bank.

Danon defended Israel and spoke directly to Mansour, declaring: “How dare you slander our efforts? How dare you lie about the brave soldiers of the IDF? How dare you blame them of the spreading the virus? They risk their lives to contain the outbreak for both Israelis and Palestinians.”

The Israeli ambassador then attacked Mansour: “Not only are your accusations shameless lies, but they are anti-Semitic. You should be ashamed of yourself. You should apologize for what you have said. You have made it clear that you prefer to hate Israel more than help the Palestinian people.”

“These actions are shameful and should be met with contempt by the entire international community,” Danon told the council. “These actions will have consequences.”

The Israeli ambassador also reiterated “Israel’s commitment to, and solidarity with, all countries as they fight this pandemic, and will continue to work with governments from around the world to help bring this crisis to an end.”

© 2020 American Jewish Congress.