French diplomat who shoved border police officer recalled

Israel, France agree Marion Castaing to return to Paris for striking IDF soldier after being pulled from aid vehicle in West Bank.

By
September 28, 2013 21:04
1 minute read.
French diplomat Marion Castaing after being removed from her truck by IDF, Sept 20, 2013.

French diplomat Marion Castaing 370. (photo credit: REUTERS/Abed Omar Qusini)

Marion Castaing, the French diplomat who shoved a Border Police officer in the face last week in the Jordan Valley, will leave the country by the end of the year, averting an Israeli-French diplomatic crisis.

Israeli officials said over the weekend that Jerusalem and Paris were in close contact regarding what was described as a "sensitive" issue, and that efforts were made to deal with it in a manner that would not harm Israeli-French relations.

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"This is a localized incident that does not characterize the relations between the two states," one official said.

Castaing, the cultural attaché at the French consulate in Jerusalem, was one of a group of European envoys prevented by the IDF from trying to raise a tent encampment at Khirbet Al-Makhul in the northern Jordan Valley for 120 Bedouin whose homes were demolished after the High Court of Justice ruled that they were constructed without the proper building permits.

Castaing claimed that the troops "dragged me out of the truck and forced me to the ground with no regard for my diplomatic immunity." A video shows her shoving a border police officer in the face.



The IDF called the incident a "provocation." Aid groups had urged Paris to stand by Castaing, but neither France nor other EU governments were keen on confronting Jerusalem over the incident.

A French official said security personnel from the French Consulate moved Castaing from her Jerusalem home on Wednesday after she received threatening phone calls and her address and pictures of her house were published online.

Reuters contributed to this report.


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