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Mideast envoys have war of words in U.N. hallway

Israeli: 'You're paying the price'; Palestinian: 'Leave us alone'

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Dan Gillerman, left, and Riyad Mansour shook hands after their brief talk.

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UNITED NATIONS (CNN) -- The Palestinian and Israeli ambassadors to the United Nations engaged in an impromptu debate Wednesday in the hallway outside the Security Council.

Israeli Ambassador Dan Gillerman said sarcastically that Palestinians must be "in love" with the idea of Israeli occupation; Palestinian Ambassador Riyad Mansour responded, "I wish you'd leave us alone."

The exchange came amid heightened tensions and fighting in the region. (Watch the testy exchange caught on camera -- :57)

An Israeli airstrike hit the Palestinian Foreign Ministry in Gaza early Thursday, part of a campaign Israel says is aimed at recovering an Israeli soldier kidnapped June 25 and stopping militants from firing rockets into Israel. (Full story)

And Israeli artillery and airstrikes pounded Hezbollah installations in southern Lebanon on Wednesday after a cross-border raid that left three Israeli soldiers dead and two others captive. (Full story)

Despite the tense situation at the United Nations, both diplomats remained cordial, shaking hands at the end of their one-minute exchange.

"You are so in love with occupation that you, you cling to it even when we leave every single inch," Gillerman said.

In the middle of Gillerman's sentence, Mansour injected, "We hate occupation."

"You are not leaving us; I wish you'd leave us alone," Mansour said.

Gillerman told Mansour that the Israeli withdrawal from Gaza last year was "one of the most heart-wrenching acts by any Israeli leader."

"Why are the soldiers inside?" Mansour asked. "Leave us alone."

When Gillerman said Israel had left the Palestinians alone, Mansour disagreed.

But Gillerman responded: "Your own people, your government had two choices. Take care of its people or turn it into a terrorist. You chose the latter, and you're paying the price."

"No, that is not true," Mansour said.

"The problem is occupation," Mansour said. "Once occupation is completely out, then peace and freedom will prevail. Consider it seriously."

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