Emmanuel Macron loses cool with Israeli security in ‘Chirac moment’ at Jerusalem church

French President Emmanuel Macron asks Israeli police officers to leave the French 12th-century Church of Saint Anne in the old city of Jerusalem on January 22, 2020. (AFP)
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Updated 22 January 2020

Emmanuel Macron loses cool with Israeli security in ‘Chirac moment’ at Jerusalem church

  • Israeli security forces pushed past the French detail and were first to enter the Church of Saint Anne, which is French state property
  • Wednesday’s tense scenes recalled a 1996 Jerusalem visit by late former president Chirac

PARIS: French President Emmanuel Macron was involved in an incident with Israeli security outside the St. Anne Cathedral which is a French territory in Jerusalem.
President Macron expressed dissatisfaction when Israeli security entered the site and encountered Macron's French security.
The French president allegedly said to the Israeli security, "Get out; we know the rules. Nobody should provoke anybody."

The scene was brief but reminded the French of the late President Chirac's visit to the old city of Jerusalem when he had a problem with Israeli security in the city's narrow streets.
Chirac stopped angrily and demanded of the Israeli security. "Do you want me to go back?" The president also had a problem before entering the French Catholic Cathedral of St. Anne when he was preceded by Israeli security. He refused to enter until Israeli security had left.
Elysee sources explained that St Anne is a French territory in Jerusalem and that the role of France in the city is to protect such places. The Israeli security forces attempted to enter although French security was in charge. The French president reacted to a disagreement between Israeli security and his French guards as he was entering the site; he was able to end the clashes and reminded the Israelis of the rules. He added that everything went smoothly and that no incident occurred.
According to the Elysee, the visit went well.
Macron stressed during his talk with the Israeli president that France would fight anti-Semitism and anti-Zionism especially if they attempted to deny the existence of israel in France.
Macron said during his talk with the Israeli president that France would do its utmost to help Lebanon out of its crisis.
He said, “I share the vigilance against all forms of terrorism that could be carried out of Lebanon and which could threaten the security of the state of Israel or of Lebanon.
Macron later met the Palestinian president, Mahmoud Abbas, in Ramallah.


Iran’s deputy health minister says he has coronavirus

Updated 5 sec ago

Iran’s deputy health minister says he has coronavirus

TEHRAN: Iran’s deputy health minister confirmed on Tuesday that he has tested positive for the new coronavirus, amid a major outbreak in the Islamic republic.
Iraj Harirchi coughed occasionally and appeared to be sweating during a press conference in Tehran on Monday with government spokesman Ali Rabiei.
At the time he denied a lawmaker’s claim that 50 people had died from the virus in the Shiite shrine city of Qom, saying he would resign if the number proved to be true.
In a video broadcast on state television, the deputy minister put on a brave face as he admitted he was infected.
“I too have been infected with coronavirus,” Harirchi said in the video apparently shot by himself.
“I had a fever as of last night and my preliminary test was positive around midnight,” he said.
“I’ve isolated myself in a place since. A few minutes ago, I was told that my final test was final, and now I am starting medication.
“I wanted to tell you that... we will definitely be victorious against this virus in the next few weeks,” Harirchi declared.
But he warned Iranians to be careful as the “virus does not discriminate” and infects anyone, regardless of standing.
Following news of his infection, government spokesman Rabiei, who stood by his side on Monday, appeared at another press conference with the country’s industries minister on Tuesday as well as other officials.
Iran confirmed three more deaths and 34 new infections on Tuesday, taking the country’s overall death toll to 15 and infection tally to 95.
The Islamic republic has been hit by the deadliest coronavirus outbreak by far outside China.
According to the health ministry, most of the deaths and infections outside Qom are among people who have recently visited the holy city.
The ministry’s spokesman Kianoush Jahanpour said 16 of the new cases were confirmed in Qom, while nine were in Tehran, and two each in Alborz, Gilan and Mazandaran.
The virus appeared to be spreading to new parts of Iran, as one new case was also reported in each of the provinces of Fars and Khorasan Razavi, as well as Qeshm island.
Despite being Iran’s epicenter of the outbreak, Qom has yet to be quarantined.
Health minister Saeed Namaki defended the decision on Tuesday and said that quarantine is an “old method.”
“We still do not agree with quarantining cities since we believe the people are cultured enough to refrain from traveling from infected cities to other places,” semi-official news agency ISNA quoted him as saying.