To support the emergence of the two-state solution between Israel and Palestine [fr]
Statement by Mr. Nicolas de Rivière, Permanent Representative of France to the United Nations
Security Council - 28 October 2019
France, together with the European Union, offers its steadfast support for the two-State solution.
We continue to defend this position, not only because it is just and in line with international law, but also because it is realistic. It is the only way to meet the aspirations of both the Israeli and the Palestinian peoples and, ultimately, bring lasting peace to the region. It must enable the establishment of a fully functioning Palestinian State, living in peace and security alongside the State of Israel, within secure and internationally recognized borders along the 1967 lines, with Jerusalem as the capital of both States.
For its part, France will continue to defend, as it always has, the creation of a Palestinian State. We will also continue to oppose, as we always have, all those who attack the security — and indeed, the very existence — of Israel.
Every day we witness how the absence of a political perspective fuels despair, radicalization in all its forms and the risk of regional destabilization. The parties must therefore refrain from any measure contrary to international law that could endanger the viability of the two-State solution.
Bolstered by those convictions, the international community and the Council in particular have defined and endorsed this two-State solution. All Council resolutions remain valid and relevant, from resolutions 242 (1967) and 338 (1973) to resolution 2334 (2016) on settlement building, as well as resolution 1515 (2003), adopted unanimously by the Council and which enshrines the two-State solution. The jurisprudence of the Council must be respected in its entirety; it is not an à la carte menu.
At a time when the prospect of a two-State solution may seem to be further and further away, it is more important than ever to remind the parties that there is no viable alternative. Any peace plan that distances itself from the two-State solution is an illusion. The aspirations of one people cannot be sustainably realized to the detriment of the rights and aspirations of the other. The economic development of the occupied Palestinian territories is a necessary condition, and that is why France and the European Union support the action of the Ad Hoc Liaison Committee for the Coordination of International Assistance to Palestinians. But that is not enough — there will be no peace without a genuine and comprehensive political solution.
The most recent developments must be considered in the light of this collectively defined objective of the two-State solution.
France welcomes the announcement made by President Abbas to the General Assembly on the holding of general elections (see A/74/PV.7). In order for these elections to be pluralistic and inclusive, it is important that they be held in all Palestinian territories, including the Gaza Strip and East Jerusalem. In any case, President Abbas’ announcement must be an element of inter-Palestinian reconciliation, which constitutes one of the conditions for achieving peace. I wish to highlight the efforts made by Egypt in this regard.
The arrangement reached at the beginning of October between Israel and the Palestinian Authority on the transfer of income is also commendable, pending the conclusion of a comprehensive and lasting agreement.
Despite that, the situation on the ground continues to deteriorate and renders peace more difficult.
In the West Bank and East Jerusalem, the ongoing building of settlements, illegal under international law as reaffirmed by resolution 2334 (2016), is fuelling tensions and undermining the viability of the two-State solution. Recent statements on the possible annexation of certain areas of the West Bank are also very worrying. This would constitute a barrier to peace and a grave and unprecedented violation of international law. Along with our European partners, we will continue to monitor the situation closely, including any movements towards annexation, and act accordingly.
In Gaza, despite the maintenance of a precarious calm and respect for the truce since mid-September, the humanitarian situation remains catastrophic. Beyond emergency responses, there will be no lasting improvement in the situation in Gaza without a political solution involving the return of the Palestinian Authority and the lifting of the blockade, with credible security guarantees for Israel. We call for respect for the right to peaceful demonstration and the proportionate use of force.
As we await lasting peace, which will provide a just response to the issue of refugees, our collective support for the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East remains essential. Such support is all the more important as we approach the triennial renewal of its mandate by the General Assembly this fall.
In conclusion, I wish to reiterate that France will continue to work towards the two-State solution. Because France is a friend to both Israel and Palestine, we stand ready to encourage them to resume dialogue. Since the spring of 2014, there has been no peace process, only constant announcements of postponed initiatives that never see the light of day. The Security Council must play its role, both in terms of ensuring the implementation of its past resolutions and supporting the emergence of a solution that can only come from the parties themselves.