Human Rights

Israeli killings in Gaza “unjustified, disproportionate” – French FM

PARIS, The live fire actions by Israeli soldiers and the killing of almost 100 Palestinians and the wounding of thousands of others in two weeks of protests on the Gaza-Israel border were “unjustified and disproportionate,” French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said Tuesday.

Speaking to the French Parliament a day after almost 60 Palestinians were shot dead by Israeli snipers during a protest, Le Drian recalled the “firm condemnation of France” in light of these killings.

The French Minister also stressed “the need to take into account the humanitarian situation in Gaza where two million inhabitants – a large part of them refugees or children of refugees, are faced with despair, by an absence of any prospects”.

Le Drian remarked that France was continuing to work towards a peaceful solution in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict but he said that a framework for this is required.

“This framework is international law and international law is the resolutions of the United Nations Security Council which were validated unanimously by the Security Council in the past,” he underlined.

France has accused Israel on numerous occasions of violating international law by building illegal settlements on occupied Arab land and expanding its hold both on the West Bank and in Arab east Jerusalem.

The French government also pointed out that the recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s sole capital and the re-location Monday of the US embassy there was a violation of international law.

“We must respect international law, which foresees the status of Jerusalem as part of (final status) negotiations and not as a precondition,” Le Drian told the Parliament.

“This is the reason why the President of the Republic and the government condemned the initiative of President (Donald) Trump” to move the embassy to Jerusalem, he added.

Le Drian further warned against trying to impose facts on the ground, rather than resorting to negotiations.

Israel’s tactics with settlements and Jerusalem are leaving little margin for the Palestinians to negotiate as they are looking at a de facto Israeli land grab.

Despite the bleak situation, France still holds on to the aim of getting a two-State solution, with Jerusalem as capital of both Israeli and Palestinian States, “living in peace and security with recognized and respected borders,” Le Drian noted.

Source: Kuwait News Agency