Emmanuel Macron has been filmed yelling at Israeli security guards and telling them to “go out” during his visit to a church in Jerusalem.
The French president was surrounded by guards in the doorway of the Church of St Anne when he shouted: “We know perfectly, everybody knows the rules.”
“I don’t like what you did in front of me,” he added, while pointing to one of the security guards.
“Go out,” he said. “Outside.”
Mr Macron visited the basilica on Wednesday ahead of a Holocaust memorial conference in the city.
The sandstone structure, which was gifted to French emperor Napoleon III from the Ottomans in 1856, sits in a section of the city annexed by Israel in the 1967 Middle East war.
It is considered a provocation by France if Israeli police enter the premises.
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The spat on Wednesday was not the first of its kind between Israeli security and a French president.
Jacques Chirac, the country’s former president who died in September, also had an altercation with guards in the city in 1996, where he shouted: “What do you want – me to get back on my plane and go back to France?”
Mr Macron has since told reporters his incident was just “a minor irritation” and highlighted an agreement that Israeli guards escort him to the door, before being replaced by a French detail.
Image: Former French president Jacques Chirac had a similar incident with Israeli security in 1996
But a joint statement from the Israeli police and Shin Bet security agency said “there was a discussion” upon Mr Macron’s arrival, and the guards had escorted him inside “based on the terms agreed upon ahead of time”.
It added: “When the president and the delegation finished the visit, he apologised about the incident and shook hands with the security personnel and continued his scheduled visit in the old city with security guards.”
Source : Sky News