Minister voices concern over situation in Gaza

Israel/Palestinian Territories – Gaza blockade – Reply by Mme Nathalie Loiseau, Minister for European Affairs, to a question in the National Assembly

Paris, 1 August 2018

You refer to what has just happened in the Gaza Strip. It’s true that good news rarely emerges from Gaza, but recently the situation has become especially worrying. There are two elements to what you said. The first is a situation concerning a boat and one of our compatriots; the second is the general situation in Gaza.

It’s not the first time a flotilla has travelled towards Gaza to both protest against the blockade and provide humanitarian assistance, and it’s not the first time the boats from such a flotilla have been boarded by the Israeli navy. That’s what happened on Sunday: all the passengers of the Al-Awda were arrested, including one of our compatriots, Sarah Katz.

That’s obviously our primary concern. The consulate visited her yesterday, we’re checking that international law is indeed being applied to her and, of course, we’re providing all the consular protection she has the right to. Meanwhile, the humanitarian cargo the boat contained is heading to Gaza.

More broadly, the situation in Gaza is especially worrying. Of course there’s a humanitarian crisis, but without a political crisis there would be no humanitarian crisis, and this political crisis is due to the lack of peace prospects for the Palestinian Territories.

Our position is clear and well-known, but I’m repeating it even more clearly today because you’ve asked me to. We’d like the blockade of Gaza to be lifted, taking into account the security guarantees necessary for the Israeli state. We’d like the negotiations to resume, quite obviously, and a solution to prevail with two states living side by side within secure borders, in peace and security, with Jerusalem as their capital. We’re working on that; Jean-Yves Le Drian is in Jordan today, particularly [to talk] about it./.

Published on 02/08/2018

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