Nephew of French Prime Minister Edouard Philippe among three tourists stabbed in Israel

Nephew of French Prime Minister Edouard Philippe among three tourists stabbed in IsraelThe nephew of French Prime Minister Edouard Philippe was among three tourists repeatedly stabbed in the Israeli seaside resort of Eilat, it emerged Monday night.  The wounded holidaymakers, who have not been named, were found lying on the promenade last Wednesday after being targeted by a gang of Israeli men. It comes at a time of heightened tension between France and Israel, as President Emmanuel Macron and Mr Philippe refuse to accept Jerusalem as Israel’s capital city. This has greatly angered many in Israel, and especially those who do not want East Jerusalem to be set aside as the capital of a Palestinian state.  Mr Philippe has also controversially backed the publication of anti-Semitic essays by the author Louis-Ferdinand Destouches, better known as Celine, despite fury from France’s sizeable Jewish community.  UN vote to condemn Trump recognising Jerusalem as capital of Israel By Monday night, Israeli news outlets were reporting the shocking Eilat crime, while French media ones generally remained silent.  According to the Israeli i24 news channel: ‘The French consul in Tel Aviv was rushed to the spot urgently. ‘Three French tourists, including the nephew of the French Prime Minister Edouard Philippe, who was on holiday in the seaside resort of Eilat in Israel, were attacked last Wednesday by a group of Israelis. ‘The municipal police found three young tourists lying on the Eilat Promenade with stab wounds on the lower part of their bodies. Two of them were slightly hurt, and the third more seriously.’ All were taken to a local hospital, where they were later joined by the French consul, who is thought to have contacted Mr Philippe immediately.  Two of those hurt were released from hospital on Thursday, while the third remained in a ward. It is not known if he is Mr Philippe’s nephew.  A criminal enquiry into the attack has been launched in Israel, with police attempting to bring the perpetrators to justice. They are all believed to be Israeli men, according to detectives.  There was no comment on the incident from France’s Ambassador to Israel, or from the French foreign ministry.  On Monday, President Macron reaffirmed his country’s commitment to a two-state solution to the Israel-Palestine conflict.   Leaders on both sides must continue ‘calling for calm and dialogue’, Mr Macron said during a meeting with members of the Palestinian Central Council. It follows American President Donald Trump plunging the area into renewed chaos by recognising Jerusalem as solely being the capital of Israel, and not Palestine too.  This shocked Western allies including France and Britain as much as it did Arab leaders, who insist that East Jerusalem must become the capital of Palestine.  On Sunday Mr Philippe said he was fine about the publication of Celine’s anti-Semitic essays. Referring to Celine, Mr Philippe said: ‘There are very good reasons to detest the man himself, but you cannot deny the writer’s central position in French literature.’ But CRIF, France’s main Jewish umbrella group, said in a statement that it opposed the publication of the three ‘racist, anti-Semitic and pro-Hitler’ essays.  Last year the Jewish Agency of Israel claimed that 5000 Jews emigrated to Israel from France in 2016, partly because of security fears, and an atmosphere of anti-Semitism condoned by those in power. 

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