France voices deep concern over Gaza violence

Israel – Palestinian Territories – Reply by M. Jean-Yves Le Drian, Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs, to a question in the National Assembly

Paris, 15 May 2018

I’ve already spoken about the issue twice, earlier. I reiterated France’s firm condemnation of the Israeli army’s unjustified, disproportionate action against the Palestinian demonstrators.

I also remind you that I recalled the need to take into account the humanitarian situation in the Gaza area, where there are two million inhabitants, most of them refugees or the children of refugees, who are afflicted by despair and a lack of prospects.

And it’s important that, on the situation in the Middle East, we keep the three fundamental principles we always have in mind and have always repeated:

To achieve a peaceful resolution, a framework is needed. That framework is international law, and international law is the United Nations Security Council resolutions which have been unanimously approved by the Security Council in the past. It’s necessary to comply with international law, which also stipulates that the status of Jerusalem should be the end result of negotiation and not the precondition. That’s why the French President and the government have condemned President Trump’s initiative.

The second aspect is the method. The method is negotiation and not imposing faits accomplis.

And finally, the third point is the goal. As we’ve said, as I repeated earlier, the goal is to have two states which both have Jerusalem as their capital and live in peace and security within recognized and respected borders.

France is committed to that, and since yesterday the President has been having intense consultations with President Mahmoud Abbas, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu this afternoon, the King of Jordan and other interlocutors, in order to arrive at the beginnings of a negotiation, which must now find its path./.

Situation in Gaza and Jerusalem – Conversations held by M. Emmanuel Macron, President of the Republic – Communiqué issued by the Presidency of the Republic

Paris, 14 May 2018

On Monday 14 May, President Emmanuel Macron spoke to King Abdullah II of Jordan – custodian, according to tradition, of the holy sites of Jerusalem – and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas. On Tuesday 15 May he will talk to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

The French President expressed France’s deep concern over the situation in Gaza, Jerusalem and the Palestinian cities. He deplored the large number of Palestinian civilian casualties in Gaza today and in recent weeks. He condemned the Israeli armed forces’ violence against the demonstrators. He called for restraint and de-escalation by all those responsible and stressed the need for demonstrations in the coming days to remain peaceful.

In the special context of the 70th anniversary of Israel’s independence and the commemoration of exile for many Palestinian families, the French President reiterated France’s disapproval of the American decision to open an embassy in Jerusalem. Jerusalem’s status can be determined only between the parties, in a negotiated framework under the aegis of the international community.

President Emmanuel Macron emphasized the Palestinians’ right to peace and security. He reaffirmed his commitment to Israel’s security and the steadfast French position of support for a two-state solution, with Israel and Palestine living side by side within secure and recognized borders.

He will remain fully focused on the situation in the coming days and weeks./.

Israel/Palestinian Territories – Statement by M. Jean-Yves Le Drian, Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs

Paris, 14 May 2018

While tensions on the ground are high, as reflected by the serious incidents that have taken place in the Gaza Strip over the last few weeks, France calls on all actors to demonstrate responsibility in order prevent further unrest. After several weeks of violence and in the face an increasing number of Palestinian victims in the Gaza Strip again today, France again calls on the Israeli authorities to exercise discretion and restraint with respect to the use of force, which must be strictly proportionate. It reaffirms the duty to protect civilians, especially minors, and the right of Palestinians to demonstrate peacefully.

There is an urgent need to recreate the conditions needed to find a political solution, in a regional context already marked by heightened tensions.

France disapproves of the American decision to transfer the United States embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, as President Macron has reaffirmed on several occasions. This decision contravenes international law and in particular the UN Security Council and General Assembly resolutions.

International law is unambiguous on the status of Jerusalem. It must be determined through negotiations, like all internationally agreed parameters, in order to achieve a just and lasting solution, namely with two states living side by side in peace and security, with Jerusalem the capital of both states. This is what the law says and this is the purpose of our efforts to promote peace in the Middle East./.

Published on 16/05/2018

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