France’s Prime Minister cancelled Israel trip

Vastavam web: France’s Prime Minister Edouard Philippe has cancelled a planned trip to Israel early next month, citing “domestic agenda” issues, his office said today. Philippe had been expected to visit Jerusalem on June 1 for an event promoting ties between France and Israel along with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. He was also planning a trip to Tel Aviv and the West Bank city of Ramallah. But the decision comes at a particularly tense time in the Middle East, with France among the countries condemning a spate of bloodshed along the Gaza border where Israeli forces killed scores of Palestinian protesters in recent weeks.

It also comes as French President Emmanuel Macron scrambles to keep a 2015 nuclear deal with Iran afloat after US President Donald Trump pulled out of the accord. Netanyahu staunchly opposes the international agreement, which curbs Iran’s nuclear programme in return for sanctions relief. Abbas was admitted to hospital at the weekend with pneumonia. There is no information yet on when he might be discharged.