France expresses solidarity with Israel in fight against terrorism
French President Macron, during his visit to Israel, stated that France would stand with Israel against Hamas but also warned of the potential for a wider conflict
BFM-TV reported on Macron's arrival in Israel.
The French president arrived in Israel on Tuesday, October 24. He met with the families of French citizens killed in the Hamas attack.
He expressed his condolences, saying, "We mourn with Israel. On October 7, we lost 30 of our fellow citizens. Nine more are either missing or held hostage. I've conveyed our nation's support to their families in Tel Aviv."
Macron's visit to Israel aims to achieve several goals, according to Reuters.
Upon his arrival, President Emmanuel Macron pledged not to leave Israel isolated in its fight against Islamist militants. He also cautioned about the risks of regional conflict.
During his meeting with the families of the French hostages at Tel Aviv airport, Macron told President Isaac Herzog in Jerusalem that France stood "shoulder to shoulder" with Israel.
Macron stated that they are not alone in this battle against terrorism and emphasized France’s responsibility to combat terrorism without ambiguity and without exacerbating the conflict.
Macron's advisers have mentioned that, in addition to showing support for Israel, Macron intends to present immediate proposals to prevent escalation, secure the hostages' release, ensure Israel's security, and work toward a two-state solution to the conflict.
While the specific proposals were not disclosed, Macron's advisers emphasized that there are actions that can be taken to ensure that Israel doesn't stand alone in its fight against terrorism.
Macron's visit also holds significance for France, particularly given the tensions in its Muslim and Jewish communities following the killing of a teacher by an Islamist militant, an incident linked by French authorities to events in Gaza.
Several Western leaders, including United States President Joe Biden and British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, have visited Israel to demonstrate support for the country.
- Since October 13, France has been on high alert following an attack at a school in Arras. In the incident, a man killed a teacher and injured two others. Fortunately, none of the students at the school were harmed. The attacker was heard shouting "Allah Akbar" during the assault. Subsequently, the authorities detained the man, and his brother was apprehended.
- The Louvre Museum temporarily closed its doors for a day due to security concerns after an armed attack by Islamists in the northeastern town of Arras. Following this, the Palace of Versailles was evacuated as well.
- On October 18, passengers were evacuated from six airports in France after reports of potential landmines. Also, visitors to the Palace of Versailles were evacuated on the same day.
- Visitors to the Palace of Versailles were evacuated for the sixth time in a week on October 21, following a reported mine threat.
- On October 22, the Palace of Versailles, located just outside Paris, was evacuated for security reasons at noon on Sunday. It marked the seventh evacuation in eight days, and the site reopened two hours later after a thorough inspection.
- The French Transport Minister announced heightened security measures at Paris airports and train stations on October 23 due to a series of false reports about landmines, underscoring the need for increased vigilance.