NEW YORK, Tuesday, January 26, 2021 (WAFA) – France Tuesday evening stressed the need to respect the Palestinian people’s inalienable rights in any solution to the Palestinian question.
“The two-state solution has been defined with the aim of bringing a just and lasting peace to the region. It is the only one likely to ensure the security of Israel, with which France will never compromise, and to respect the rights of the Palestinians, which are inalienable,” France Representative to United Nations Nicolas de Rivière stated.
“The parameters for the resolution of the conflict are known: two States, living in peace and security, within secure and recognized borders based on the 1967 lines, both with Jerusalem as their capital,” he added.
“It is up to the parties and the parties alone to resume discussions on this basis, to make together the changes they deem necessary for peace, and to close together all final status issues,” he said.
The French diplomat expressed his country’s concerns over Israel’s policy of fait accompli, geared towards colonizing more Palestinian land and displacing the Palestinian people.
“France is concerned by the increasing number of Israeli faits accomplis on the ground. These decisions threaten the two-state solution,” he said.
He reiterated condemnation of the Israeli colonial settlement construction, land grab and home demolitions.
“France condemns Israel’s decisions in recent days to advance or approve thousands of housing units in the settlements in the West Bank and East Jerusalem, including in areas that are particularly sensitive for the viability of a future Palestinian state such as Givaat HaMatos and Har Homa. It reiterates its call on the Israeli authorities not to implement these decisions.”
“We are very concerned by the increase in demolitions and confiscations of Palestinian structures, including those funded by France and the European Union.”
He said his country would not recognize any change to the pre-1967 borders, and stressed the need to distinguish between Israel and the territories it occupies.
“France and its European partners will not recognise any changes to the 1967 lines other than those agreed between the parties. We recall the obligation for all States to make a distinction in their exchanges between the territory of Israel and the territories occupied in 1967. This distinction must in particular materialise in bilateral agreements and in all trade, for example through the differentiated labelling of products from the West Bank and East Jerusalem settlements.”
“At this pivotal moment, it is urgent to create the conditions for a resumption of direct negotiations between the parties,” he added.
While De Rivière welcomed the resumption of cooperation between the Palestinian Authority and Israel, he reminded Israel “of its responsibilities as an occupying power, particularly with regard to vaccines, under the Geneva Conventions.”
He reiterated that “France and its partners will work with all actors to achieve a just and lasting peace in the Middle East based on international law” and welcomed “the commitment recently expressed by the new US Administration to the two-state solution and its rejection of any unilateral action that would undermine it.”
He called for efforts to help the UN agency for Palestinian refugees (UNRWA) overcome its financial crisis.
“UNRWA continues to play an essential role in the search for a lasting peace. France calls on all Member States to contribute to its budget, which is in a critical state.”
He welcomed President Mahmoud Abbas’ decree announcing the holding of legislative, presidential and National Council elections starting from next May.
“France calls on all Palestinian political players to act constructively to enable the Palestinian people to appoint their representatives. It calls on the Israeli authorities to facilitate the holding of elections throughout the Palestinian Territories, including in East Jerusalem.”
“Alongside its European partners, France stands ready to support the preparation and organisation of free and impartial elections within the set deadlines.”