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Top French diplomat to Israel, Egypt, Jordan

Friday - 7/18/2014, 7:00am  ET

PARIS (AP) -- France's foreign minister is traveling to Egypt, Jordan and Israel as part of a diplomatic push to stop the fighting in Gaza.

The fighting has inflamed tensions in France, which has seen clashes at Paris synagogues and Jewish stores. France has western Europe's largest Muslim and Jewish communities, and a fringe of extremists on both sides have been involved in violence.

Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius said in a statement that he is going to the region to push for a cease-fire and lasting truce "that responds to Israel's security needs and Palestinian economic needs." He urged Israel to show "restraint," calling it essential to protect civilian populations and avoid new victims.

A French diplomat said Fabius is heading Friday to Egypt, then will continue to Jordan and Israel.


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