update desk

French consulate employees arrested for smuggling weapons from Gaza to Judea, Samaria

A driver and security guard tied to the French Consulate in Jerusalem allegedly smuggled weapons that were then sold to illegal arms dealers.

A vehicle allegedly belonging to French Consulate employee Romain Franck at the Erez Border Crossing between Israel and the Gaza Strip. Credit: Shin Bet.
A vehicle allegedly belonging to French Consulate employee Romain Franck at the Erez Border Crossing between Israel and the Gaza Strip. Credit: Shin Bet.

A driver and security guard employed by the French Consulate in eastern Jerusalem were arrested by Israeli police last month for allegedly smuggling weapons from Hamas in the Gaza Strip to Judea and Samaria, according to the Shin Bet on Monday.

French national Romain Franck, the consulate’s driver, is charged with using his diplomatic vehicle to smuggle 70 handguns and two assault rifles for the terror organization through the Erez Border crossing. A guard employed by the consulate, an Arab from eastern Jerusalem, was also arrested in the case, along with several Gaza Palestinians found illegally in Judea and Samaria.

The arms were able to pass through the crossing on several occasions in the past few months because diplomatic vehicles are subject to less stringent security checks.

Franck is believed to have received the weapons from a Palestinian employed by Gaza’s “French culture center.” He transported the arms to a Palestinian in Judea and Samaria who then sold them to illegal arms dealers. The embassy is not being connected to the crime, and French authorities have fully cooperated.

French lawmaker Meyer Habib, who represents French residents overseas, noted that “this isn’t the first problematic affair the French Consulate in Jerusalem has been involved in. And even if only junior staff were involved, there is a feeling, unfortunately, that the consulate has actually become the French Embassy to the Palestinian Authority.”

You have read 3 articles this month.
Register to receive full access to JNS.

Just before you scroll on...

Israel is at war.

JNS is combating the stream of misinformation on Israel with real, honest and factual reporting. In order to deliver this in-depth, unbiased coverage of Israel and the Jewish world, we rely on readers like you.

The support you provide allows our journalists to deliver the truth, free from bias and hidden agendas. Can we count on your support?

Every contribution, big or small, helps JNS.org remain a trusted source of news you can rely on.

Become a part of our mission by donating today
Topics
Comments
Thank you. You are a loyal JNS Reader.
You have read more than 10 articles this month.
Please register for full access to continue reading and post comments.
Never miss a thing
Get the best stories faster with JNS breaking news updates