French President Emmanuel Macron had a taste of what Palestinians in the Occupied Territory experience on a daily basis when Israeli occupation officers defiled the sanctity of a holy place in Jerusalem.
Macron, who is in Jerusalem to attend the Fifth World Holocaust Forum, was visibly shaken when he saw Israeli police entering the Crusader-era Church of St Anne, which is considered French territory.
Macron shouted at the Israeli officers for violating rules that have been in place for centuries.
“I don’t like what you did in front of me. Go outside, please,” Macron yelled at the officers in English. “Nobody has to provoke,” he said.
This is not the first time that such an incident took place. Late French President Jacques Chirac had to deal with similar Israeli violations during a visit to Palestine in 1996. At the time, Chirac had threatened to cut his trip short and go back to France.
"Je n'ai pas aimé ce que vous avez fait en face de moi. Sortez s'il vous plaît"
24 ans après le coup de sang de Jacques Chirac à Jérusalem, Emmanuel Macron s'énerve en anglais contre des policiers israéliens (vidéo prise par @AvaDjamshidi) > https://t.co/rnsdq8TIbm pic.twitter.com/tXYbrjQ9V3
— Le Parisien (@le_Parisien) January 22, 2020
The BBC, which reported on the incident said that “the Church of St Anne, which dates back to 1138, is the best-preserved Crusader church in Jerusalem. According to Christian tradition, the crypt enshrines the home of the Virgin Mary and her parents.”
The historic church is located in occupied Palestinian East Jerusalem, close to the Muslim al-Haram al-Sharif compound, which hosts al-Aqsa Mosque.
Muslim and Christian holy sites are often violated, raided or shut down by the Israeli military.
“The French flag has flown over the Church of St Anne since the Ottoman Turks presented it as a gift to France in 1856 as a gesture of gratitude for aid in the Crimean War,” the BBC reported.
— Palestine Chronicle (@PalestineChron) April 24, 2019
A video circulated regarding the incident showed furious Macron telling Israeli officers to “please respect the rules as they are for centuries. They will not change with me. I can tell you, OK?”
East Jerusalem is a Palestinian city that has been militarily occupied by Israel since June 1967.
(The Palestine Chronicle)