Israel envoy summoned over ‘intrusion’ at French cultural center

France’s foreign ministry said that it had summoned the Israeli government’s representative in Paris over what it called an “intrusion” by Israeli forces at its cultural center in Jerusalem. (File/ AFP)
Updated 22 March 2019
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Israel envoy summoned over ‘intrusion’ at French cultural center

  • police entered the building Thursday to cancel an event with a women’s group which Israel claims is sponsored or financed by the Palestinian Authority
  • Palestinians who were to participate in the event said the allegation was false

PARIS: France’s foreign ministry said Friday that it had summoned the Israeli government’s representative in Paris over what it called an “intrusion” by Israeli forces at its cultural center in Jerusalem.
In a rare move, police entered the building Thursday to cancel an event with a women’s group which Israel claims is sponsored or financed by the Palestinian Authority.
A diplomatic source said France’s consul general had immediately protested the police’s entry to the center in east Jerusalem, which Israel has annexed in a move not recognized by the international community.
“Such actions are a serious and unacceptable infringement to the functioning of our cultural network in Jerusalem,” the foreign ministry said in a statement.
It said the Israeli charge d’affaires had been called to meet with French officials for “necessary clarifications.”
“France intends to maintain and develop its deep and longstanding relations with Palestinian civil society,” it added.
The French consulate could not confirm Thursday if the women’s association was indeed financed by the Palestinian Authority — Israel considers all PA activities in Jerusalem illegal.
But Palestinians who were to participate in the event said the allegation was false.
“It was an event related to Mother’s Day” and to sell crafts made by women from Jerusalem, said one of the women who was to participate, declining to give her name.
Similar events occur on a near-monthly basis, she said.


US calls on Iran to keep energy flow through Strait of Hormuz

Updated 27 min 34 sec ago
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US calls on Iran to keep energy flow through Strait of Hormuz

WASHINGTON: The US State Department has called on Iran to keep the straits of Hormuz and Bab Al-Mandeb open, an official said on Tuesday after the US a day earlier demanded that Iran oil buyers halt their purchases by May 1.

"We call on Iran, and all countries, to respect the free flow of energy and commerce, and freedom of navigation" in the straits, the official said.

More to follow...