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Israel Rejects France's Proposed Framework To De-Escalate Lebanon Border Tensions

14.06.2024 18:27

Defense Minister Gallant's announcement follows Macron's declaration that France, Israel, and US had agreed to work together to reduce tensions.

Israel said Friday that it rejected a trilateral framework with France and the US aimed at defusing tensions on the Israeli-Lebanese border.

Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant attributed Israel's rejection to the inclusion of France in the proposed framework.

Gallant's announcement followed French President Emmanuel Macron's declaration that France, Israel, and the US had agreed to work together to reduce border tensions.

"As we fight a just war, defending our people, France has adopted hostile policies against Israel," Gallant said on X.

"In doing so, France ignores the atrocities committed by Hamas against Israeli children, women and men," he added.

The Israeli minister noted that "Israel will not be a party to the trilateral framework proposed by France."

According to The Times of Israel daily on Friday: "Amid growing calls to limit arms sales to the IDF (army) and divest from Israeli defense companies against the backdrop of the ongoing war in Gaza, French authorities last month banned Israeli defense firms from exhibiting at one of the world's largest defense fairs."

"That decision came days after an Israeli strike targeting two top Hamas terrorists in Gaza's southernmost city of Rafah sparked a fire in a complex housing displaced Palestinians, killing dozens of civilians and triggering international outrage and protests in France," the daily added.

Later in the day, in an unusual turn of events, officials from Israel's Ministry of Foreign Affairs openly slammed Gallant's statements against France.

In a statement, the officials condemned Gallant's remarks, saying: "We disapprove of Defense Minister Gallant's attacks on France," according to The Times of Israeli daily.

His statements "are incorrect and inappropriate," the diplomats said.

The statement highlighted France's active participation in defending Israel, noting: "From the start of the war, France has taken a clear line of denunciation and sanctions against Hamas, and takes an aggressive line in everything having to do with sanctions in the EU against Iran and its missile and drone project, and was a partner in the IAEA Board of Governors decision to advance a sanctions process against Iran's nuclear program."

The officials noted the French authorities are actively combating the scourge of antisemitism and protecting Jewish communities within their territory.

Tensions have risen along Lebanon's border with Israel amid cross-border attacks between Hezbollah and Israeli forces as Tel Aviv presses ahead with its deadly offensive on the Gaza Strip, which has killed more than 37,200 people since last October.

*Writing by Mohammad Sio -

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