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France to cancel €400m arms deal with Israel

The French Ministry of Defence is to cancel an arms deal with Israel signed by the former Defence Minister, Israeli media sources have claimed.

Through the deal, France would have got unmanned spy planes from Israel worth around €400m. Minister of Defence Jean-Yves Le Drian supports the decision.

The media reports claim that members of the Exterior and Security Committee objected to the deal, citing the inappropriateness of the aircraft for French defence purposes. Other reports say that France will instead sign a deal with the USA to replace the cancelled agreement with Israel.

After the 1967 war, France stopped weapon exchanges with Israel. When Israeli commando units carried out an operation against the PLO in Beirut in 1968, French president Charles de Gaulle ordered a full arms embargo on Israel, even for weapons that were already ordered and paid for.

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