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Following ban on Israeli companies, French court bars any Israeli rep from attending Eurosatory arms expo in Paris

Decisions by French government provoke harsh reaction from DM Gallant

The Israeli pavilion at Eurosatory, 2014 (Photo: Shutterstock)

Two weeks after France decided to ban Israeli defense firms from participating in the world’s largest defense arms exhibit, Eurosatory 2024, due to the IDF operating in Rafah, a French court ordered that access be denied “not only to Israeli companies, but also to anyone who may serve as their intermediaries.”

This ruling effectively bans any employee of an Israeli defense company from attending the arms expo in Paris.

At the time of the first announcement, the French Defense Ministry released a statement saying, “Conditions are no longer right to host Israeli companies at the Paris show, given that the French president is calling for the cessation of IDF operation in Rafah.” 

The decision by the French District Court to order the ban on anyone working for or representing Israeli defense firms goes far beyond the decision of the nation's Defense Ministry. The exhibit organizer, Coges Events, has said it will appeal the ruling. 

The decision, issued by a Bobigny court, came after several NGOs, including the Association France Palestine Solidarité (AFPS) and Al-Haq, filed a petition with the court seeking to exclude Israel's attendance at the exhibition. 

Coges President Charles Beaudoin wrote a letter Saturday contesting the ruling, saying that Coges believes the move “goes beyond the government’s decision taken two weeks ago.” Beaudoin said that until a final ruling is issued, Coges will follow the rule banning Israeli representatives and workers from attending. 

Israeli news site Globes pointed to the apparent discriminatory nature of the order, stating, “In the exhibition halls, African dictators will cut deals for receiving French protection through arms contracts in the billions of euros; Iranian representatives and agents on Iran’s behalf will roam freely; but Israel will be banned.” 

The original decision by the French Defense Ministry sparked a rise in tensions between Israel and France, with Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant recently attacking France for ignoring “atrocities committed by Hamas.” He made the statement while rejecting a French proposal to mediate a resolution to the conflict with Hezbollah in southern Lebanon. 

French President Emmanuel Macron had proposed a trilateral framework of negotiations to diffuse the increasing conflict with Hezbollah along Israel’s northern border with Lebanon. Macron suggested that France, the United States and Israel should collaborate to de-escalate the situation along the border. 

Following Gallant’s statements on Friday, the Israeli Foreign Ministry, led by Israel Katz, tried to distance itself from the defense minister's position.

An unnamed official told the Jerusalem Post that “beyond the differences of opinion that exist between Israel and France, the statements [by Gallant] against France are incorrect and out of place.” 

The All Israel News Staff is a team of journalists in Israel.

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