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Celebrating the traditional Bastille Day in his elegant estate in Jaffa, the French Ambassador Christopher Bigot hosted Israeli President Shimon Peres and former captive IDF soldier Gilad Shalit, accompanied by his father Noam Shalit.

In his speech, Bigot recalled the full support his country lent Shalit during the 5 years he was held prisoner by Hamas in Gaza.
Bigot also assured Israel continued support by the newly appointed French President Francois Hollande.
President Peres addressed the one thousand guests gathered on the estate's lawn, as they endured an unbearable heat wave.
Peres described the current social protest movement in Tel Aviv as an echo of the French Revolution. Peres also touched upon two very crucial issues: The Iranian nuclear program and the need for peace with the Palestinians.

French Ambassador Christopher Bigot and Israeli President Shimon Peres

The Israeli president expressed his sincere wish and hope that all nations of the Arab world would join the Global Spring and rid itself of the ills of poverty, bureaucracy, and dictatorship.

The president thanked Ambasador Bigot, who is ending his tenure in Israel this year, for his service to the country and his support of the Israeli people.
The evening ended with a magnificent fireworks display and the singing of the French national anthem "La Marseillaise" as well as the Israeli national anthem "Hatikva".