Hollande urges Middle East diplomacy after pro-Palestinian protest in Paris

July 14, 2014

After Muslim youths attempted to forcefully enter two Paris synagogues on Sunday, July 13, French president Francois Hollande is calling for diplomatic measures between leaders of Hamas and Israel and “pressing Israel for restraint in Gaza.”

The conflict has caused religious tension within France and has led to several violent outbursts by pro-Palestinian protestors.

In a recent televised speech, Hollande stated, “Israel has the right to its security; Israel can defend itself if it is attacked; but at the same time Israel should show restraint.” A synagogue near the Bastille was stormed by more than 100 youths chanting “Israel murder.” More than two thousand protestors participated in Sunday’s march. Some carried banners saying “stop killing children.” Six policemen and two worshippers at the synagogue were injured.

Prime Minister Manuel Valls, who lives in the neighborhood, condemned the attacks. “France will never tolerate people trying in words or deeds to import the Israeli-Palestine conflict onto its territory,” he said.

The French president said that he has attempted “to convince those who could have an influence on Hamas, on the Gaza Strip, and at the same time putting pressure on Israel” to put a stop to the ongoing attacks. Hollande has affirmed that he is intent on stopping the violence from being “imported” to France.”

“We cannot have intrusion or efforts at intrusions into places of worship, whether they are synagogues, as happened yesterday, but I would say the same thing for mosques, for churches, or for temples,” he said. “Religions should be respected, all religions. These places of worship should be protected.”