Middle East, Europe

France faces backlash over alleged weapons shipments to Israel

Party leader’s claims fueled by reports from French research site, newspaper

Esra Taşkın  | 28.03.2024 - Update : 28.03.2024
France faces backlash over alleged weapons shipments to Israel


French left-wing lawmaker Mathilde Panot leveled scathing accusations against the government on Wednesday of its complicity in supplying weapons to Israel for potential use in Gaza.

The deputy group leader of the La France Insoumise party’s claims were fueled by reports from the French research site Disclose and independent newspaper Marsactu which purportedly exposed the clandestine delivery of over 100,000 rounds for machine guns to Israel in October 2023.

According to Panot, this revelation contradicts previous assurances provided by French officials including Defense Minister Sebastien Lecornu and government spokesperson Prisca Thevenot, who had assured parliamentarians that France's shipments to Israel were solely for defense purposes, particularly for the Iron Dome missile defense system.

Panot lambasted these reassurances as "lies" and condemned the government's secrecy surrounding the alleged weapon transfers, decrying the potential use of French-made ammunition against civilians in Gaza.

Highlighting the tragic toll from an attack in Gaza on people awaiting humanitarian aid, Panot claimed that the bullets provided by France were utilized in the assault, resulting in over 100 fatalities and 760 injuries.

She asserted that France's involvement in such incidents rendered it complicit in the ongoing crisis in Gaza, labeling it a "major scandal."

Demanding accountability, Panot called on the French government to address these allegations and immediately cease all arms shipments to Israel.

In response, however, Defense Minister Lecornu refuted claims of direct weapon transfers, asserting that France only permitted the sale of military products to Israel for potential re-export to third countries, emphasizing that these products primarily comprised weapons parts.

Anadolu Agency website contains only a portion of the news stories offered to subscribers in the AA News Broadcasting System (HAS), and in summarized form. Please contact us for subscription options.