France is offering to take part in an international force in Palestinian areas, an idea that the Palestinian Authority and Israel have begun to embrace in the Gaza Strip but which is opposed by Hamas, which has power there. French Prime Minister Francois Fillon told the American Jewish Committee Thursday night that "France and Europe can, when circumstances permit and if the parties so wish, take part in an international force to support the Palestinian security services."
France will be the next country to assume the presidency of the European Union, which has already sent monitors to the Gaza border crossing. With the heightened role of forces in Southern Lebanon, and as the violence in Palestinian areas has continue to roil the region, the possibility of an international force has been increasingly raised. Yet Hamas has been clear in its opposition to any force in the coastal strip it seized last year.
Let us remember what French troops deployed in Lebanon for UNIFIL looked like.
Call it a failure of imagination on my part but I cannot see these troops putting fear G-d into Hamas's heart. It certainly didn't work for Hezbollah. Of course, now I understand completely the rational behind the creation of the French Foreign Legion. French troops just don't do 'cowboy'.