Middle East: France urges Iran “and its cronies” to “immediately” stop their “destabilizing actions”

French Foreign Minister Catherine Colonna called her Iranian counterpart Hossein Amir-Abdollahian on Saturday to urge “Iran and its cronies” to “immediately” stop their “destabilizing actions.”

Lebanese Hezbollah fires dozens of rockets into northern Israel

Catherine Colonna claims to have “sent a very clear message: the risk of regional conflagration has never been so significant; Iran and its cronies must immediately stop their destabilizing actions. No one would gain from an escalation”, according to a message posted on the social network X. Iran is accused of playing an essential role in the turbulence in the Middle East. Tehran has established an “axis of resistance” hostile to Israel, its archenemy, drawing on allied forces in the region, including Hezbollah in Lebanon, armed groups in Iraq and Syria and Houthi rebels in Yemen. .

Since the start of the war between Israel and Palestinian Hamas in October, the latter have been carrying out attacks in the Red Sea, severely disrupting international trade. On Saturday, Lebanese Hezbollah also claimed to have fired dozens of rockets towards a military base in northern Israel, presenting this attack as its first response to the elimination of Hamas number two, Saleh al-Arouri, on Tuesday evening in his stronghold near Beirut.

The Israeli army, which did not take responsibility for this first strike, which was nevertheless attributed to it by Lebanon, Hamas and an American official, declared for its part that the rocket warning sirens had sounded in the cities from the north of the country. She reported on Saturday morning about forty rocket shots fired towards the Israeli region of Meron from neighboring Lebanon, adding in a statement that her forces had struck in response a cell responsible for some of these shots.

France pleads for “access to humanitarian aid and evacuation of the wounded”

Catherine Colonna, who has initiated a series of consultations with France’s partners in the Middle East, had previously announced on X that she had a conversation on Saturday with her Egyptian counterpart Sameh Shoukry. “Egypt and France are on the front line for humanitarian aid access to Gaza and the evacuation of the most seriously injured,” his message said.

The French minister also spoke on Saturday with the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Qatar, a “useful conversation” on three objectives: “liberation of all hostages, cessation of hostilities in Gaza, credible perspective for a Palestinian state”, he said. -he specified on the same social network. According to a press release from the ministry, Catherine Colonna has discussed since the beginning of the week with Najib Mikati, Lebanese Prime Minister, Riyad al-Maliki, Palestinian Minister of Foreign Affairs.

Israel vowed to destroy Hamas after its unprecedented attack on Israeli soil on October 7, which killed 1,140 people, mainly civilians, according to an AFP count based on the Israeli death toll. Around 250 people were kidnapped, including around a hundred released during a truce at the end of November. The incessant Israeli shelling left 22,722 people dead in Gaza, mostly women, children and adolescents, and more than 58,000 injured, according to a latest report from Hamas.

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