An Hungarian mayor who accused Israel of being behind 13 November's Paris attacks has apologised after his comments were leaked to the media.
Gabor Huszar, mayor of the western Hungarian town of Szentgotthard and member of the right-wing Fidesz party of prime minister Viktor Orban, made the conspiracy-like remarks during a council meeting on the expansion of a nearby refugee camp.
"What happened in Paris is clear evidence that certain business circles, dare I say business circles which are likely backed by the Jewish state, are trying to pit Christian Europe against the Muslims," he said, according to JTA news agency.
A recording of his comments were leaked to Nyugat.hu news website, causing an outcry.
However, Huszar was quick to apologise for what he called his "unfortunate wording" and posted a statement on the municipal website. In it, he claimed that "it was not my aim to offend anyone, especially not people of Jewish religion". I apologize from those whom I offended. I am sorry for what happened," he continued.
Local media claimed that Huszar was attempting to placate concerns over the refugee camp by arguing that Muslims were not to blame for the terror attacks in Paris that left 130 dead.
Hardline rightwinger Orban said after the events in Paris that "all the terrorists are basically migrants".
Israel's ambassador to Hungary, Ilan Mor, condemned the mayor saying that there are still people who "have not learned from history and continue to propagate negative views and conspiracy theories against the Jewish state, Israel".
"Such statements have led to the great tragedy of Jews in Hungary. Unfortunately, these false and laughable statements were by a public figure, Szentgotthard's mayor," he said.
Anti-Semitism is a delicate issue in Hungary, where between 500,000 and 600,000 Hungarian Jews were murdered in the Holocaust, according to the Holocaust memorial centre in Budapest. One in three Jews killed in Auschwitz were Hungarian nationals, according to some accounts.