Tense Meeting between Macron, Netanyahu due to Trump’s Jerusalem Decision

French President Emmanuel Macron welcomes Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Paris. (Reuters)
French President Emmanuel Macron welcomes Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Paris. (Reuters)
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Tense Meeting between Macron, Netanyahu due to Trump’s Jerusalem Decision

French President Emmanuel Macron welcomes Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Paris. (Reuters)
French President Emmanuel Macron welcomes Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Paris. (Reuters)

Despite the aspirations of French President Emmanuel Macron and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to add some warmth to their meeting Sunday at the Elysee Palace in Paris, a joint press conference that followed their talks revealed the tensions between them over Washington’s recent decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.

It was evident that Macron sought to push Netanyahu in the direction of adopting moderate positions or initiative to defuse tension with the Palestinians.

His efforts however fell on deaf ears and each side remained attached to his known stance concerning Trump’s decision to move the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

The French President reiterated that his country refused the move based on two main justifications: The decision contravenes all rules of international law and poses a threat to peace in the Middle East.

Paris believes that the region does not need further hotbeds of tensions that add to the existing wars.

Macron had previously even directly talked by telephone with Trump and said his move on Jerusalem was “regrettable.”

Faced with the French positions, Netanyahu had no choice but to reiterate his previous statements delivered last Wednesday. “Recognition of Jerusalem was essential for the peace process because peace must be built on the foundation of truth,” the Israeli Prime Minister said.

And like every occasion, Netanyahu held the Palestinian side responsible for its consistent refusal to resume talks with Tel Aviv since spring 2014 because of the Israeli cabinet’s rejection to freeze the building of settlements.

In this regard, despite Macron’s repeated calls that Netanyahu initiate a courageous move and build trust with the Palestinians to end the current stalemate, his cries were not positively received by the Israeli PM.



WHO Says Many People in Gaza Facing ‘Famine-like Conditions’

Israeli soldiers operate inside the Gaza Strip, as seen from southern Israel, on Feb. 13, 2024. (AP)
Israeli soldiers operate inside the Gaza Strip, as seen from southern Israel, on Feb. 13, 2024. (AP)
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WHO Says Many People in Gaza Facing ‘Famine-like Conditions’

Israeli soldiers operate inside the Gaza Strip, as seen from southern Israel, on Feb. 13, 2024. (AP)
Israeli soldiers operate inside the Gaza Strip, as seen from southern Israel, on Feb. 13, 2024. (AP)

The head of the World Health Organization (WHO) said on Wednesday that many people in Gaza were facing "catastrophic hunger and famine-like conditions".

"A significant proportion of Gaza's population is now facing catastrophic hunger and famine-like conditions," said WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.

"Despite reports of increased delivery of food, there is currently no evidence that those who need it most are receiving sufficient quantity and quality of food."

Tedros said there were more than 8,000 children under five years old who have been diagnosed and treated for acute malnutrition, including 1,600 children with severe acute malnutrition.

"However, due to insecurity and lack of access, only two stabilization centers for severely malnourished patients can operate," he added.

"Our inability to provide health services safely, combined with the lack of clean water and sanitation, significantly increases the risk of malnourished children."

The war in Gaza began on Oct. 7 when fighters led by Hamas killed 1,200 Israelis and took more than 250 hostage, according to Israeli tallies.

Israel's response has caused the deaths of more than 37,000 Palestinians, according to the Gazan health ministry, displaced most of Gaza's population of 2.3 million and caused widespread hunger and destruction.

A UN inquiry on Wednesday found that both Israel and Hamas had committed war crimes early in the Gaza war, and that Israel's actions also constituted crimes against humanity because of the immense civilian losses.

Tedros also highlighted a separate health crisis in the West Bank, where he said healthcare had been targeted by nearly 500 attacks since Oct. 7.

"While the world's focus has been on Gaza, there is also an escalating health crisis in the West Bank, where attacks on healthcare and restrictions on movement of people are obstructing access to health services," he said.

"In most areas of the West Bank, clinics are only operating two days a week and hospitals are operating at about 70% capacity."