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'Dragging India into ship attack row unintentional mistake'

world Updated: Jun 03, 2010 13:34 IST

In a damage control exercise, Israel, which had compared violence in India to its globally-condemned attack on an aid flotilla to the Gaza Strip, has said it mentioned the country by mistake which was "totally unintentional."

"India was mentioned in the press release by mistake. It was totally unintentional", Israel's Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman's media adviser Tzachi Moshe said.

"The moment it came to our notice, the release was corrected and reference to India was dropped," Moshe said.

His comments came a day after an Israeli Foreign Ministry statement quoting Lieberman as telling UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said that incidents in countries like India and Pakistan in the past one month which claimed over 500 lives have been "ignored" while the Jewish state is being condemned for its "unmistakably defensive actions".

Earlier, Israeli Ambassador to India Mark Sofer said in New Delhi yesterday that this was a "regrettable error" and that his country "does not see India in the same light as it sees its enemies." India was a close friend, he emphasised.

Sofer said already the name of India has been removed from the speech of his Foreign Minister and "we are taking this up to make sure that any misunderstanding risen out of this error of this nature will no longer be there."

He also said "Israel stands hook, line and sinker behind India in its struggle in South Asia."

In an emergency session on Tuesday, the UN Security Council had called for an investigation into Israel's deadly commando raid on six ships taking humanitarian aid to the Gaza Strip, condemning the act that resulted in the loss of at least nine lives.