France bans Israeli firms from exhibiting at upcoming defence fair

France has banned Israeli companies from participating in this year's annual Eurosatory arms and defence industry exhibition in Villepinte near Paris next month, the event's organisers and the French Defence Ministry said on Friday.

"Following a decision by government authorities, there will not be an Israeli stand at the Eurosatory 2024 salon," a spokesperson for the organisers said via email.

The Defence Ministry told Reuters that: "Conditions are no longer met to host Israeli companies at the show at a time when the President is calling for Israel to cease operations in Rafah."

Seventy-four Israeli firms had been set to be represented at the event from June 17 to 21 at fairgrounds close to Paris' main international airport, with Coges previously saying around 10 of them were to exhibit weapons.

Contacted by AFP, the Israeli embassy said it did not wish to comment.

The incident comes days after the Israeli bombing of a camp for the displaced in the Gaza Strip sparked international outrage and protests in France.

President Emmanuel Macron said he was "outraged" by the air strike that triggered a fire killing 45 people in a tent camp in the Gazan tent city of Rafah, almost eight months into the latest Gaza war.

The conflict erupted after Palestinian militant group Hamas attacked southern Israel on October 7, which resulted in the deaths of 1,189 people, mostly civilians, according to an AFP tally based on Israeli official figures.

(FRANCE 24 with AFP and Reuters)

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