Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, rejected a request by the French Foreign Minister, Bernard Kouchner, to visit the Gaza Strip. Kouchner intends to visit Israel and the West Bank soon, and was hoping to be allowed into the Gaza Strip.

Israeli paper, Haaretz, reported that Netanyahu sent a letter to Kouchner and told him that he cannot approve his request to visit Gaza.

Netanyahu claimed that Hamas will be the beneficiary of this visit, and would use it to focus on what happened during the war.

Kouchner wanted to visit Gaza to observe the construction of Al Quds Hospital which is under construction in cooperation with France.

He had to postpone his trip to the region till November.

Israel previously rejected similar request made by a number of officials, including a request made by Turkish Foreign Minister, Ahmet Davutoglu, and EU Foreign Policy Chief, Javier Solana.

Last week, Netanyahu said he was disappointed by France for not voting against the Goldstone report.