Global News

French citizen in Jerusalem arrested over weapons smuggling

French citizen in Jerusalem arrested over weapons smuggling

In a speech in Ramallah earlier on Monday, Abbas said, "The United States legitimizes settlements".

"The consulate employee smuggled the arms on a number of occasions in recent months while using the French consulate's consular vehicle, which underwent a more lax security inspection at the border crossing, as is the case with this type of auto", the statement said.

The French Embassy in Israel issued a statement confirming that a consulate employee had been arrested, saying it was treating the incident with "great importance", but wouldn't discuss the case itself.

Franck, 23, was due to appear at a 12:30 GMT Israeli court hearing at which formal charges would be filed.

"We take this case very seriously", a spokeswoman for the Foreign Ministry in Paris said in a statement, adding that the French ambassador to Israel had visited the suspect as part of efforts to ensure his rights were being safeguarded.

Franck allegedly used a diplomatic vehicle to transfer 70 handguns and two assault rifles on five occasions over recent months.

Jason Greenblatt, U.S. President Donald Trump's Special Representative for International Negotiations, on Monday evening denounced Palestinian Authority (PA) chairman Mahmoud Abbas, after he called U.S. Ambassador to Israel David Friedman the "son of a dog".




"We congratulate the two big brothers (Hamdallah and Faraj) that they are safe after the sinful and despicable attack that was carried out against them by the Hamas movement in the Gaza Strip", Abbas said.

Fadel had entered Jerusalem using a five-day permit that allowed him to look for work, according to the Israel Security Agency, or Shin Bet. "We have been working hard for six months and got nothing, not the government, not the crossings, not security, nothing", he said. The indictment said Franck earned thousands of dollars for moving the guns.

Israeli officials were quick to note that the worker from France's Jerusalem consulate acted on his own without his superiors' knowledge and that diplomatic relations between the two countries were not affected.

Friedman, speaking Monday at the Global Forum for Combating Antisemitism in Jerusalem, said the Palestinian leader's remarks amounted to anti-Semitism, the Israeli daily Haaretz reported.

The comments came amid roiling Palestinian anger at the U.S. over the Jerusalem decision, with Ramallah rejecting Washington's role in attempting to broker peace talks.

The stabber, who was first identified as a Turkish national visiting Israel, was later identified as Abd al-Rahman Bani Fadel, 28, a Palestinian man from a northern West Bank village near Nablus.


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