JERUSALEM: Emmanuel Macron reprimanded an Israeli security officer who apparently attempted to enter a French-owned church during a tour of Jerusalem, mirroring a similarly testy exchange in 1996 involving his predecessor Jacques Chirac.
The French president was on a visit to the walled Old City on Wednesday before a Holocaust memorial event hosted by Israel on Thursday.
Stopping to visit the church of St Anne, he was seen by journalists shouting at a man in the doorway. “Outside, please,” he said in English, according to a film taken by a reporter from Le Parisien.
As a gift for his help in the Crimean War, the Ottoman Sultan Abdülmecid handed the basilica to the French emperor Napoleon III in 1856. Its grounds are still considered French territory.
In 1996, Chirac also lost his cool, shouting that his treatment by Israeli security agents was a “provocation”.