Laurent Fabius
Photo: AFP
France urges restraint, says violence leads nowhere
French FM supports Israel's right to self-defense but adds that in already troubled region, further escalation would be catastrophic

French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius supported Israel's right to self-defense on Thursday but noted that a resumption of violence is not conducive to solving the crisis. "The Palestinians have a right to a state and Israel has a right to security but we won't solve the problems with violence," he said.


In an interview with RTL television the French minister called on Israel and the Palestinians to exercise restraint. "In the name of France I call for restraint because in an already deeply troubled region, it will be a catastrophe if another escalation occurs," he said.


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Meanwhile, Egypt officially requested a meeting of the UN Security Council to discuss what it described as Israeli aggression on Gaza, the Foreign Ministry said.


Egypt, which in 1979 became the first Arab state to sign a peace treaty with Israel, recalled its ambassador from Israel on Wednesday after Israeli strikes on the Gaza Strip killed Hamas's top military commander.


"כיפת ברזל" בפעולה, הבוקר (צילום: רויטרס)

Iron Dome in action (Photo: Reuters)


Egypt's representative to the United Nations called for the meeting in formal letters to UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and the current head of the council, India's representative, the Egyptian Foreign Ministry said in a statement.


The Egyptian ambassador expressed Egypt's "serious alarm at the Israeli aggression on Gaza" and described the attack as a violation of international law.


He called for urgent international action, particularly from the council, "to confront this serious situation which threatens international peace and security."


Egytp's Ambassador to the Palestinian Authority Yasser Othman said in an interview with the Maan news agency that his country won't let Israel continue its aggression against Gaza. He noted that Cairo is engaged in talks with European officials to stop the Israeli attacks. "Israel is isolated and the diplomatic channels are effective and can be useful," he said.



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