The party leaders arrived Thursday at the Elysée for a meeting with Emmanuel Macron, who must then solemnly address the French, in search of “unity” of the Nation" faced with the risks of tensions in France after the unprecedented attack by Hamas in Israel.
A first special Air France flight to repatriate French people from Israel, particularly the most “vulnerable”, will leave Tel Aviv at 4:40 p.m. for an arrival at 8:35 p.m. in Paris, where they will be welcomed by the Minister of Foreign Affairs Catherine Colonna. According to French diplomacy, several other “special flights” are planned for Friday and Saturday.
The Head of State, with Prime Minister Élisabeth Borne, has been chairing a meeting with the leaders since noon at the Elysée of the eleven parties represented in Parliament, as well as the presidents of the Senate, the National Assembly and the Economic, Social and Environmental Council.
– “Disgusted” –
Despite general condemnation of the attack carried out on Saturday by the Palestinian Islamist movement which controls the Gaza Strip, and the unanimous demand for the release of the hostages, the opposition expressed their nuances upon their arrival.
A Palestinian amid the rubble in the Jabaliya refugee camp in the Gaza Strip after an Israeli strike, October 11, 2023 © AFP – Mahmud HAMS
So, the coordinator of La France insoumise (far left) , Manuel Bompard, denounced the “small political battles” while his movement is accused from all sides, including by its left-wing allies, of not clearly qualifying Hamas as a “terrorist” organization. “It disgusts me,” he said, arriving alone without the other leaders of the Nupes, unlike the previous meeting with the President of the Republic at the end of August.
The head of the Socialist Party, Olivier Faure, insisted on the “singular voice” that France should bring, in favor of peace, to “prevent emotion from transforming into a generalized bloodbath”. Support for Israel cannot be “unconditional”, but limited by “the limits of international law”, he said, while the leader of the environmentalists Marine Tondelier pleaded for “emergency humanitarian aid” and a “de-escalation”.
On the far right, the president of the National Rally Jordan Bardella protested against the “red carpet” rolled out “in Qatar”, “financial support for Hamas” according to him. Same story from the President of the Republicans, Eric Ciotti, who asked France for “determined action for the release of the hostages” held by the Islamist movement.
After this closed-door meeting, Emmanuel Macron will address the French in a televised address at 8:00 p.m.
Manuel Bompard (left), Olivier Faure (center) and Marine Tondelier on August 31, 2023 after the “Rencontres de Saint-Denis”, in Saint-Denis © AFP – Ludovic MARIN < p>It’s time for gravity. The death toll from Saturday's attack by the Palestinian Islamist movement in Israel exceeds 1,200, while the Israeli response in the Gaza Strip killed more than 1,300 people, according to Hamas authorities.
< p>At least 12 French people have died in Israel and 17 are missing, including several children “probably kidnapped” by Hamas, according to a latest official report.
– 100 “anti-Semitic” acts –< /p>
President Macron had to “take stock of the situation” and “collect the opinions of party leaders” in a “constructive” framework, says an advisor.
Above all, he underlines, the Head of State wants to promote “the unity of the Nation” at a time when the executive takes seriously the risk of tensions in France.
The Minister of Interior Minister Gérald Darmanin announced Thursday that he had recorded “more than a hundred anti-Semitic acts” since Saturday affecting the largest Jewish community in Europe, with some 500,000 people. Its services reported 41 arrests, while Pharos, the online hate reporting platform, received more than 2,000 reports.
Republican leader Eric Ciotti on October 10, 2023 at the Assembly in Paris © AFP – Miguel MEDINA
But the minister assured that “for the intelligence services, “there is no sign in the neighborhoods, in the street” of the importation of the conflict into France.
France, through the voice of Emmanuel Macron, strongly condemned the “terrorist attacks perpetrated by Hamas” and affirmed his “full support” for Israel, as well as his “attachment” to its “right to defend itself”.
On Wednesday, government spokesperson Olivier Véran further called to “avoid the situation of escalation” and “protect civilians”. France wants “a political resolution of the conflict” for “the search for lasting peace”, he said.
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