Published: Thu, January 23, 2020
Global News | By Blake Casey

French president loses cool with Israeli security, kicks them out

French president loses cool with Israeli security, kicks them out

In a message to Jerusalem's Yad Vashem Holocaust memorial centre, which will host the high-profile event, Macron spoke of "citizens of France and elsewhere (who) are targeted because they are Jewish". I'm sorry, you know the rules.

Macron's shouting match with Israeli police went viral after part of the altercation was captured on video by a French journalist.

The Roman Catholic church, located at the start of Via Dolorosa in the Old City's Muslim Quarter, was offered by the Ottoman Empire to France in 1856.

A spokeswoman for the Elysée Palace told CNN that the President had intervened after an exchange between French and Israeli security. "They will not change with me, I can tell you", Macron added during the dispute.

During his two-day trip, Prince Charles is also likely to visit the grave of his grandmother, Princess Alice of Battenberg, in Jerusalem's Church of St Mary Magdalene.

A joint statement by police and the Shin Bet security service said Macron had asked personnel to respect the rules at the site after the French president's security detail and the Israeli security team discussed whether they could enter with him.

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The altercation flared when Israeli police and domestic security agents pushed past the French detail and were first to enter the Church of Saint Anne, which is French territory under global treaties.

Earlier on Wednesday, a separate squabble ensued when Israeli police tried to enter St. Anne ahead of Macron's visit.

"When the president and the delegation finished the visit, he apologized about the incident and shook hands with the security personnel and continued his scheduled visit in the old city with security guards", it said. That characterization, which most of the rest of the world shares, is disputed by Israel, which regards all of Jerusalem as its sovereign territory.

To mark the 75th anniversary of the liberation of the Auschwitz concentration camp this week, more than 40 presidents and prime ministers, kings, princes and grand dukes will come to Jerusalem to attend the Fifth World Holocaust Forum, entitled "Remembering the Holocaust, Fighting Antisemitism".

Wednesday's clash bears a strong resemblance to an incident in 1996 when then-French President Jacques Chirac was also filmed in heated exchanges with Israeli security during a visit to the same church.

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