Paris (AFP)

The evocation Thursday to the National Assembly by rebellious France of the case of the Israeli spy software Pegasus caused a violent exchange between the UDI deputy Meyer Habib and the LFI group, accused of "anti-Semitism".

The clash occurred at the very end of the examination of a text notably strengthening the technological tools of French intelligence.

Ugo Bernalicis (LFI) focused his interventions on the "scandal" of the software developed by the Israeli company NSO, implicated according to the investigation of a media consortium in possible wiretapping by Morocco of French personalities, including the president Macron and rebellious deputy Adrien Quatennens.

Mr. Habib, deputy of a constituency of the French living abroad including Israel and himself Franco-Israeli, underlined in substance that the problem arose from the inappropriate use of this software, not from its design in itself, which could be beneficial in the fight against terrorism.

He notably argued "that with this kind of software", the Israelis had helped France to thwart a plan of attack on its soil supported by Iran, in Villepinte north of Paris in 2018.

Mr. Bernalicis then accused Mr. Habib of "playing smart", adding: "I wonder how he gets this kind of information himself".

A hubbub ensued.

In a point of order, Alexis Corbière of the same group then claimed to have heard Mr. Habib "shout insults and in particular to treat one of our colleagues" anti-Semite ".

He denounced remarks "intolerable and false" emanating from a deputy "violent" and "in the process of unparliamentary radicalization".

And called for "sanctions", seizing the presidency of the Assembly.

The chairman of the session Marc Le Fur (LR) himself said he had "heard nothing".

"When we talk about a very powerful Israeli software and which makes it possible to stop certain terrorist attacks, there I was blamed, that is enough their obsession with the Jews and their obsession with Israel", replied in session M Habib.

UDI MP added that LFI boss Jean-Luc Mélenchon had "blamed the Jews" for the defeat of British Labor Jeremy Corbyn in 2019.

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"The hatred of Israel, the anti-Semitic slippages, it is the DNA of Mélenchon", he had previously affirmed in a tweet.

© 2021 AFP

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