Over the next several weeks and months, ELNET is organizing emergency solidarity missions of European policymakers to Israel. The aim of these missions is to help ensure that the unprecedented European military and diplomatic support for Israel remains strong for the duration of the war until Hamas is eradicated.
One of these missions is happening right now, with 10 members of the French Parliament and former French Prime Minister Manuel Valls visiting Israel with ELNET.
Among them are MP Benjamin Haddad, Spokesman of the majority group Renaissance Party, and MP Caroline Yadan, Secretary General of the France-Israel Friendship Group in the National Assembly.
On the first day of their visit the delegation traveled to Israel’s south. There they visited the Shurah army base where row after row of caravans hold the bodies of some 300 unidentified victims. They then visited Kfar Aza where some of the most gruesome and inhumane atrocities were committed against young children and entire families. They also traveled to the city of Sderot and met with the city’s Mayor, Alon Davidi, and were briefed by (Res.) Golan Wach, head of the Israeli National Rescue Unit.
They then met with families of kidnapped hostages, including the family of French hostage Mia Schem. Hours after the meeting, Hamas released heart-wrenching footage of her wounded in captivity in Gaza.
On this second day, the delegation has already held meetings at the Knesset and at Israel’s National Security Council. At the Knesset they met with Knesset Speaker Amir Ohana and Heads of the France-Israel Friendship Group MKs Karin Elharrar and Yossi Taeib.
Later on today they will also have a security briefing at the Israeli Ministry of Defense headquarters. They will meet with survivors of the attacks to hear their firsthand testimonies, visit wounded civilians and soldiers in the hospital, and pay respects to the bereaved family of a French lone soldier.
As media attention turns to the images of Israel’s invasion of Gaza, having European policymakers see the reality on the ground from Israel’s perspective will be even more critical in helping sustain the necessary support from key European allies.