Because it engages the stability of the region, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict remains a subject of prime importance [fr]
SITUATION IN THE MIDDLE EAST
STATEMENT BY MR. NICOLAS DE RIVIERE
PERMANENT REPRESENTATIVE OF FRANCE TO THE UNITED NATIONS
AT THE SECURITY COUNCIL
== Translation from French ==
New York, 21 July 2020
I thank the Special Coordinator and Mr Levy and Mr Shikaki for their briefings. France supports the EU’s intervention, which will be communicated later.
Because it engages the stability of the region, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict remains a subject of prime importance. The parameters of its settlement are well-known: two States, living in peace and security, along secure and recognized borders, with Jerusalem as the capital of both States. It is a question of law but also of pragmatism: only the two-state solution will respond to the aspirations of the Palestinians and guarantee Israel’s security, with which France will never compromise.
In this context, France reiterates its appeal to Israel to abandon any plan to annex parts of the West Bank, whatever the perimeter.
As the overwhelming majority of this Council recalled last month, any annexation would constitute a clear violation of international law. It would be a flagrant violation of the international order whose rules we have together established, starting with the Charter of this Organization, which establishes the principle of non-acquisition of territory by force.
Any annexation of territory would also deal an irreversible blow to the peace process, as well as to the two-State solution. It would strengthen the enemies of peace, to the detriment of efforts to achieve regional peace and of Israel’s security. Annexation would not be in the interest of either Israelis or Palestinians.
France will not recognize any modification of the June 1967 lines, except those agreed by both parties, in accordance with international law, the resolutions of this Council and the internationally agreed parameters on which the two-State solution is based.
As the EU High Representative has said, any annexation decision would have consequences for the European Union’s relationship with Israel. French Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs Jean-Yves Le Drian also indicated that such a decision could not go unanswered in view of its seriousness.
It is therefore the responsibility of this Council to remain mobilised to prevent any such decision.
France also expresses its deep concern about the continuing colonization, in violation of international law.
In particular, it calls on Israel to put an end to the expansion of settlements in Givaat Hamatos and in the "E1" area, which are particularly sensitive to the viability of the two-State solution. The planned opening of the bidding procedure for the construction of more than 1,000 housing units in Givat Hamatos and the continuation of the procedure for the construction of 3,500 housing units in the "E1" zone are worrying in this regard.
France is also concerned about the continuing demolitions, confiscations and evictions in zone C and East Jerusalem, despite the fact that the Israeli authorities committed themselves to suspend demolitions due to COVID.
France, together with its partners, in particular Arab and European partners, are determined to continue to work towards the resumption of credible and ambitious negotiations between the parties, based on international law, the resolutions of this Council and internationally agreed parameters.
It is up to the parties, with the support of the international community, to negotiate the concessions necessary to move forward on the path to peace. The conflict will not be resolved through unilateral decisions. The path to peace will be long and difficult and will require courageous political decisions. Progress towards inter-Palestinian reconciliation would be an important step in that direction.
France is ready to play its full part in this process, in conjunction with its Arab and European partners. On 7 July 2020, the Foreign Ministers of France, Germany, Egypt and Jordan jointly reiterated the importance of resuming a fruitful dialogue between the Israeli and Palestinian parties. They also offered their support to facilitate progress in the negotiations.
In conclusion, I would like to reaffirm France’s full support for UNRWA and to call for a surge of mobilization to enable the Office to overcome its financial crisis and to continue to implement its full mandate.