During his visit to Jerusalem, ahead of the International Holocaust Forum on Thursday, French President Emmanuel Macron confronted with police officers on Wednesday at the entrance to the French-Catholic Church of Saint Anne.
"Everyone knows the procedures. I don't like what you did. Now get out of here," Macron told officers.
He was outraged police forces attempted entering the church with him.
Later, Macron contacted the chief security officer on behalf of the Shin Bet's GSS personal security unit, thanked him for his work, but asked everyone to leave.
"You did a wonderful job in the city, please respect the practices that have been in place for centuries,” the French president said.
Macron argued that the church was French territory and demanded police forces leave the place.
Macron later apologized to police and the Shin Bet security guards for shaming them, saying he did not intend to hurt or insult them.
The French tricolor has flown over the Church of Saint Anne in Jerusalem's walled Old City since it was gifted by the Ottomans to French Emperor Napoleon III in 1856 for France's involvement in the Crimean War.
A similar incident happened in 1996 with French President Jacques Chirac, who confronted Israeli security forces outside the Church of the Holy Sepulcher after they pushed away people in the crowd trying to shake his hand in East Jerusalem.
Chirac's televised outburst appeared spontaneous to viewers.
Then-Israeli Ambassador to France Avi Pazner claimed that "Chirac planned to cause drama in Israel to please Arab public opinion."
After the incident, Chirac cut off his visit to East Jerusalem and returned to his hotel in protest.
Chirac demanded Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu apologize, so he won't cut short his visit to Israel. Netanyahu refused and said that "if he wants to leave, he can leave."