Netanyahu to meet Macron in Paris in 2nd trip abroad since returning to office

In a phone call between the two leaders Monday, Macron expressed condolences over Friday’s deadly Jerusalem terror attack and urged both sides not to ‘feed the spiral of violence’

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (right) hosts French President Emmanuel Macron at the Prime Minister's Residence in Jerusalem, January 22, 2020. (Koby Gideon/GPO/File)
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (right) hosts French President Emmanuel Macron at the Prime Minister's Residence in Jerusalem, January 22, 2020. (Koby Gideon/GPO/File)

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is slated to fly to Paris on Thursday and stay in France through Saturday evening, his office said late Monday for a visit that comes amid escalating tensions with the Palestinians and Iran.

The prime minister is expected to meet with French President Emanuel Macron during his visit. This will be Netanyahu’s second official trip abroad as premier since returning to office after recently meeting with Jordan’s King Abdullah II in Amman.

Apart from the meeting with Macron, the announcement gave no other details on Netanyahu’s itinerary for the weekend trip.

Macron called Netanyahu on Monday to express condolences over the deadly Jerusalem terror attack from Friday that killed seven Israelis and injured three.

He urged Israelis and Palestinians not to “feed the spiral of violence” and “expressed his availability to contribute to the resumption of dialogue between the Palestinians and the Israelis,” the Elysée Palace said in a statement.

The French president also offered his condolences to Israel and the families of the victims of Friday’s terror rampage, which he described as a “despicable attack,” the deadliest in Israel in over a decade.

In the call with Netanyahu, Macron also “expressed France’s full and complete solidarity with Israel in its fight against terrorism” and repeated “France’s unwavering attachment to Israel’s security, the palace said.

According to a statement issued by Netanyahu’s office, the two also “sharply condemned Iran’s active participation in harming innocent civilians in Ukraine” and agreed to continue the dialogue between Israel and France on various regional issues.

French President Emmanuel Macron, right, and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu shake hands during a joint press conference at the Elysee Palace in Paris, on June 5, 2018. (Philippe Wojazer/AFP)

Friday’s attack took place near a synagogue in East Jerusalem’s Neve Yaakov neighborhood. In a second attack a day later, a 13-year-old Palestinian shot and wounded two people outside the capital’s Old City.

The attacks were widely condemned globally, including by the US, the UK, the United Arab Emirates, and Turkey.

The terror attacks followed days of violence in the West Bank where tensions have increased dramatically since Thursday morning, when an Israel Defense Forces raid in the West Bank against a terrorist cell left nine Palestinians dead — most of them gunmen and members of the cell, though at least one civilian was also killed.


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