French premier nixes Israel visit

Prime Minister Edouard Philippe cancels planned trip to Israel, claims 'domestic' scheduling issues prevented visit.

David Rosenberg,

Edouard Philippe
Edouard Philippe
REUTERS

France’s Prime Minister Edouard Philippe cancelled a planned trip to Israel Wednesday, just days ahead of the visit.

Philippe was scheduled to fly to Israel next Thursday for a two-day visit to the Jewish state.

According to a spokesperson from the premier’s office, the cancellation was caused by “domestic agenda reasons” which will demand the Prime Minister’s attention over the next few days.

Some Israeli government officials believe, however, that the cancellation was in fact a response to Israel’s use of force to protect its border with Gaza in the face of mass-infiltration attempts led by the Hamas terror organization, Yediot Ahronot reported.

More than 110 rioters and terrorists have been killed since the rioting began on the Israel-Gaza border on March 30th.

France had previously demanded that Israel exercise “restraint” in defending the border with Gaza, and using “strictly proportional” force against rioters and terrorists on the border.

"France calls again for Israeli authorities to act with caution and restraint in the use of force, which must be strictly proportional," French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said.




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