Europe

France: Israel's ban on Palestinians could escalate violence

In this photo provided by the United Nations, Jean-Marc Ayrault, center, Minister for Foreign Affairs and International Development of France, addresses the United Nations Security Council, Friday, June 10, 2016 at United Nations headquarters. U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon is seated to his left and Hasmik Egian, Acting Director of the Security Council Affairs Division, is to the right. Ayrault addressed a small group of reporters on Friday, warning that Israel's ban on Palestinians entering its territory following the "abominable" attack on a popular cafe in Tel Aviv could escalate violence instead of focus attention on the need to pursue peace. (Rick Bajornas/The United Nations via AP)

In this photo provided by the United Nations, Jean-Marc Ayrault, center, Minister for Foreign Affairs and International Development of France, addresses the United Nations Security Council, Friday, June 10, 2016 at United Nations headquarters. U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon is seated to his left and Hasmik Egian, Acting Director of the Security Council Affairs Division, is to the right. Ayrault addressed a small group of reporters on Friday, warning that Israel's ban on Palestinians entering its territory following the "abominable" attack on a popular cafe in Tel Aviv could escalate violence instead of focus attention on the need to pursue peace. (Rick Bajornas/The United Nations via AP)  (The Associated Press)

France's foreign minister is warning that Israel's ban on Palestinians entering its territory following the "abominable" attack on a popular cafe in Tel Aviv could escalate violence instead of focus attention on the need to pursue peace.

Jean-Marc Ayrault reiterated France's condemnation of the attack, which killed four civilians, but was critical of Israel's response.

"The decision by the Israeli authorities today to revoke tens of thousands of entry permits could stoke tensions which could lead to a risk of escalation," he told a small group of reporters. "We must be careful about anything that could stoke tensions."

Ayrault was at U.N. headquarters for a Security Council debate on protecting civilians in peacekeeping operations. Last Friday, France hosted an international meeting aimed at finding a new strategy for Mideast peace.