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Israel asks France to intervene to prevent confrontation with Hezbollah

July 20, 2023 at 10:44 am

Israeli Foreign Minister Eli Cohen [Israel Foreign Ministry/Anadolu Agency]

Israel asked France yesterday to use its influence in Lebanon to prevent the outbreak of a military confrontation with Hezbollah, Anadolu has reported. The Israeli Foreign Ministry made the request during a meeting in Paris between Foreign Minister Eli Cohen and his French counterpart, Catherine Colonna.

“The provocation of the terrorist organisation Hezbollah on the Lebanese border could degenerate into a military confrontation,” said Cohen. “I asked my friend, Foreign Minister Colonna, to exercise France’s influence in Lebanon in order to help resolve the tensions efficiently and quickly.”

Other regional security issues were also on the agenda, including Iran’s nuclear programme. “The fight against the Iranian threat requires the entire international community to act now. The meeting of the IAEA Board of Governors in September is the right stage to act against the Iranian violations in the nuclear field,” insisted the Israeli foreign minister.

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“Diplomatic and security relations between Israel and France are of enormous importance to both countries and regional stability,” he added. “France is a strategic ally of the State of Israel which can play a central role in expanding the Abraham Accords and adding more countries in Africa and the Middle East to the circle of peace.”

Earlier on Wednesday, the Lebanese army said that an Israeli army patrol fired two smoke bombs across the border. No injuries were reported.

The border between Lebanon and Israel has been tense in recent days, due to attempts by Israeli forces to level land and build a concrete wall. Lebanon is opposed to this move because the area in question is Lebanese land occupied by Israel.

At the beginning of this month, a number of local residents and protesters removed a barbed wire placed by the Israeli army on the outskirts of the border town of Kafr Shuba, which led to armed forces on both sides being on high alert. UN peacekeeping troops intervened to calm the situation.

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