Macron Tells Bennett He’s Concerned about Expansion in Yehuda and Shomron

Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett speaking at the 45th anniversary event of the founding of Elkana, in the Shomron, on Wednesday. (Kobi Gideon/GPO)

PARIS (Reuters/Hamodia) – French President Emmanuel Macron on Tuesday told Israel’s Prime Minister Naftali Bennett about his concerns over the country’s latest announcements on construction of Jewish communities in Yehuda and Shomron, the Elysee said in a readout after the two leaders’ phone call.

The French-language readout of the conversation said: “While welcoming once again the recent normalization of Israel’s relations with several countries in the region, the President of the Republic expressed his concern about the recent Israeli announcements in terms of settlements, and his desire to contribute to a revival of peace efforts in the Middle East.”

Macron also urged a speedy and thorough investigation of the killing of Al Jazeera journalist Shireen Abu Akleh.

However, a press release from Bennett’s office about the conversation made no mention of Macron’s concerns.

It said only that “the two leaders discussed strengthening the ties between Israel and France and the strong bilateral relations in all areas, discussed the security situation in the region, especially Iran, as well as opportunities for cooperation and the war in Europe and its implications.”

The statement concluded by adding that “Prime Minister Bennett and President Macron agreed to meet soon.”

Earlier in the day, during a visit to Elkana, in the Shomron, Bennett lauded the new building plans as a proper response to the terrorism directed at the country in recent weeks.

“In the face of enemy violence, the Zionist answer has always been settlement, security and immigration,” Bennett said. “Last week we approved here in Elkana, to my understanding, the largest volume of construction at once, since the establishment of the town.”

The Elkana project came as part of the announcement of the government approval of the construction of over 4,000 homes in Yehuda and Shomron.

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