Israeli Prime Minister Concludes Visit to France

Kareem Salem

Benyamin Netanyahu met with French President Emmanuel Macron at the Élysée Palace on Thursday along with 60 business executives to leverage foreign investment in Israel.

The two leaders started off their meeting with a handshake in front of photographers. After dinner, Netanyahu and Macron discussed the Iranian nuclear crisis, the Russian-Ukraine War and the renewed violence between Israel and Palestine. The French president had notably urged Netanyahu to engage with Kiev, while his Israeli counterpart had urged France to tighten sanctions against Iranian oil and gas exports. On Friday, President Netanyahu gave a 15-minute speech to some 60 business leaders who were interested in investing in Israel.

Netanyahu’s trip comes during one of the deadliest periods in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in years. The Israeli army’s military operations in the occupied West Bank have multiplied since the beginning of the year, including a Tsahal assault that left nine people dead and dozens injured in a refugee camp in Jenin on Jan. 27. The following day, a Palestinian killed seven passers-by near a synagogue in East Jerusalem. Hours before Netanyahu’s arrival in Paris, the Israeli military launched air raids in the blockaded Gaza Strip on Thursday morning.

The picture of internal politics in Israel does not bode well for the reconciliation between Israelis and Palestinians. Since Dec. 2022, Netanyahu has formed the most right-wing government in Israel’s history – combining right-wing, far-right and ultra-Orthodox Jewish parties, which demand more settlement expansion in the occupied West Bank. Conversely, it is unlikely that Netanyahu’s trip will see Israel provide weapons to the Ukrainian war effort – the Kremlin is allowing Netanyahu to conduct operations targeting Iranian-linked forces in Syria, which it does not want to jeopardize.

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Israeli Prime Minister Co…

by Kareem Salem time to read: 1 min