Conflicts & War

Israeli, French foreign ministers discuss tensions with Hezbollah, UNRWA future

Jerusalem, Feb 5 (EFE).- Israeli Foreign Minister Israel Katz held a meeting with his French counterpart, Stephane Sejourne, on Monday and discussed the need for a “diplomatic solution” to the cross-border attacks with Lebanon.

The attacks between Israel and Lebanon’s Shia militia group Hezbollah have increased significantly since 2006, particularly after the conflict with Hamas began on Oct. 7.

Katz underlined that if diplomatic efforts fail to remove Hezbollah fighters from southern Lebanon, especially near the demilitarized border, Israel would resort to military action to resolve the situation.

“We will act forcefully to achieve the goal, and Lebanon will pay the price,” Katz warned in a brief statement following the meeting with the French foreign minister in Jerusalem.

Katz welcomed France’s recent decision to suspend its humanitarian funding to the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) after Israel accused a dozen of its staff members of involvement in the Oct. 7 attack on Israeli towns.

“UNRWA is part of the problem, and in order to bring the war to an end, it must be replaced by a civilian body that is not supported by Hamas,” emphasized the Israeli minister.

Following Israel’s accusations last month, at least 16 Western countries, including France, the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, and Germany, suspended approximately $440 million in funding to the UN agency.

The French foreign minister is also scheduled to meet with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas later on Monday.

He will also visit relatives of hostages in Tel Aviv before concluding his visit. EFE

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