Iran, Israel-Palestine conflict… Benyamin Netanyahu visits Paris

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is expected in Paris on Thursday February 2 to meet Emmanuel Macron

Iran, Israel-Palestine conflict… Benyamin Netanyahu visits Paris

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is expected in Paris on Thursday February 2 to meet Emmanuel Macron. The two leaders will notably talk about the growing tensions around Iran and the Israeli-Palestinian violence. "Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu will fly to Paris for a diplomatic visit, where he will meet with French President Emmanuel Macron and discuss with him the international effort to stop Iran's nuclear program and ways to strengthen and expand the agreements of Abraham,” according to the Israeli Embassy in Paris.

The Élysée has let it be known that "the President of the Republic will once again express France's solidarity with Israel in the face of terrorism. In a context of growing tensions, the President of the Republic will recall the need for everyone to avoid measures likely to fuel the cycle of violence, and will express his availability to contribute to the resumption of dialogue between the Palestinians and the Israelis ". The two leaders will meet for dinner, but no public speaking is planned.

For several days, violence between Israelis and Palestinians has caused several victims. Last Thursday, ten people, fighters and civilians, died in an Israeli raid on the Jenin refugee camp, the deadliest in years in the West Bank. Seven civilians died Friday in a Palestinian attack in East Jerusalem, an area occupied and annexed by Israel. And on Saturday a Palestinian injured two Israelis, a father and his son, also in East Jerusalem, before being injured and arrested. In the West Bank, Israeli guards killed a Palestinian on Sunday and Israeli forces killed a Palestinian on Monday.

The Israeli side wishes above all to focus this visit on Iran, hoping in particular that its growing involvement in the war between Russia and Ukraine (the mullahs' regime is a major supplier of equipment to Russia) will push Westerners to accentuate pressure on Tehran, Israel's pet peeve. Iran, which regularly calls for the eradication of the Jewish state, regularly accuses its sworn enemy of being behind several attacks on its own soil against its nuclear program (which Israel has never admitted) or in Syria neighbor, ally of Tehran, where Tel Aviv has already carried out air strikes against Iranian interests.

Paris considers it necessary to conduct a policy of "very strong firmness" towards Iran, according to a diplomatic source, because "the nuclear program continues to a point which is dangerous" and Iran is involved in the war from Ukraine to Europe. For several months, Iran has become an increasingly important player in the Ukrainian war by supplying numerous drones used by Moscow to strike Ukrainian infrastructure even as nuclear negotiations have stalled and the Iran is holding several foreigners considered hostages by Western capitals.

This Macron-Netanyahu meeting comes a few days after the meeting of the two directors of strategic affairs of the foreign ministries, Joshua L. Zarka and Philippe Bertoux, on January 19, where the Iranian file was discussed.

Against the backdrop of Iran's growing involvement in the Ukraine war, Binyamin Netanyahu on Wednesday announced what appears to be a significant change in Israel's posture, saying he is now ready to consider supplying arms to Ukraine. . Until now, Tel Aviv had taken care to remain neutral between the two belligerents, in particular because of the presence of the Russian army deployed in Syria, giving leverage to Moscow.

Israel must in particular take into account the presence in this neighboring country of Russian anti-aircraft systems. So far, Tel Aviv has been able to conduct its military air operations over Syria without Russia activating these systems.

In addition to this diplomatic component, Binyamin Netanyahu will "meet leading businessmen in France in the financial field and hold a meeting with leaders of the Jewish community", according to the embassy. He will leave France on Saturday evening.

Netanyahu's government came to power in December at the head of a coalition of right-wing, far-right and ultra-Orthodox Jewish parties, whose critics fear an anti-democratic drift. , including the financial sector. Some companies have said they are ready to leave Israel, believing that the planned judicial reform would create instability affecting their activity. The Prime Minister notably met last week with the heads of the big banks to try to reassure them.