France calls on Israel to stop building separation wall
Israel/Palestinian Territories/continued building of the separation wall – Reply by M. Jean-Marc Ayrault, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Development, to a question in the National Assembly
Paris, 5 April 2016
France condemns Israel’s decision to authorize the continued building of the separation wall in the Cremisan Valley, which is illegal under international law and would have a serious impact on Palestinian families in Beit Jala.
France has been playing an active role in this context. In 2015, our embassy in Tel Aviv made a demarche on the subject to the Israeli Prime Minister’s office. This active role continued as soon as the work began. The Consul General in Jerusalem and his team went to Beit Jala on several occasions, including in February 2016, to reaffirm France’s support for the inhabitants and observe at first hand the progression of the work. In July 2015, the European Union missions in Jerusalem and Ramallah expressed their profound disappointment and their concern following the decision by Israel’s Supreme Court to authorize the construction of a portion of the wall in the Cremisan Valley. In the conclusions of the Foreign Affairs Council of 18 January 2016, the 28 European Union foreign ministers called on Israel to suspend plans for forced transfers of people and for destruction that threaten the area.
Moreover, both bilaterally and in multilateral forums, France is calling on Israel to comply with its obligations on the living conditions of the Palestinian population, in accordance with the Fourth Geneva Convention. Israeli settlement activity is an obstacle to a just peace founded on the creation of a viable, sovereign Palestinian state living in peace and security alongside Israel. With the aim of protecting and ensuring the success of the two-state solution, France has made demarches to prepare an international conference bringing together around the parties their main – particularly American, European and Arab – partners. The special envoy, Pierre Vimont, is leading the consultation with the parties and the main partners. France will keep a close eye on the situation of families in Beit Jala./.