France wants Israel to lower tension in occupied Palestine. But Israel is more concerned about Lebanon and wants Paris’ help.
French Foreign Minister Catherine Colonna told her Israeli counterpart Eli Cohen on Wednesday that it is important for Israel to end “all unilateral measures likely to fuel tensions” with the Palestinians, according to a statement issued by the French Foreign Ministry.
Colonna also “stressed the need to end the policy of settlement activity, which is illegal under international law and undermines the prospects of peace.”
In the meeting, sources said Israel asked France to help ensure no war erupts between Tel Aviv and Lebanon’s Hezbollah group.
“I asked my friend, Foreign Minister Colonna, to exercise France’s influence in Lebanon in order to help resolve the tensions efficiently and quickly,” Cohen said.
Cohen’s visit came a day before the UN Security Council was set to discuss the deteriorating situation along the so-called Blue Line separating Israel and Lebanon.
Next month will mark the annual renewal of the peacekeeping force in that region, known as the UN Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL).