Israeli authorities have arrested a French citizen who worked in his country’s consulate in Jerusalem on suspicion of using a diplomatic car to smuggle arms to Palestine. Security services claim that Romain Franck, 23, used the official vehicle to bypass Israeli security checks and move 70 pistols and two assault rifles from Gaza to the occupied West Bank. Israel’s Shin Bet security agency said Franck carried out the smuggling for personal financial gain rather than for political reasons, and that his superiors at the consulate were unaware of his actions. “This is a very serious incident in which the immunity and privileges granted to foreign diplomatic missions in Israel were cynically exploited to smuggle dozens of weapons that may be used for terrorist attacks against Israeli civilians and security forces,” the agency said in a statement. A spokesperson for the French embassy in Tel Aviv said: “We take this case very seriously and are in close contact with the Israeli authorities.” Franck will appear in court to face charges Monday.
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