We are at a turning point in the history of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict [fr]
SITUATION AU MOYEN-ORIENT
INTERVENTION A TITRE NATIONAL
DE M. NICOLAS DE RIVIERE
REPRESENTANT PERMANENT DE LA FRANCE AUPRES DES NATIONS UNIES
AU CONSEIL DE SECURITE
New York, le 24 juin 2020
I thank the Secretary-General for his introduction, as well as the Secretary-General of the Arab League and the Special Coordinator for their briefings. I also welcome the participation of the Ministers of Palestine, South Africa, Indonesia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Tunisia, Vietnam and the UK.
We are at a turning point in the history of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Almost thirty years ago, the signatories of the Oslo agreements had the courage to take the first steps towards resolving the oldest conflict on the agenda of this Council. With one week to go before the deadline of the 1st of July, the hope of achieving a comprehensive peace in the Middle East has never seemed so remote.
France shares the deep concerns expressed by the members of this Council and the Secretary-General of the United Nations, but also by the High Representative of the European Union on several occasions regarding the Israeli government’s declared threat to annex parts of the West Bank after the 1st of July.
It would be a serious breach of international law, in flagrant violation of the principle of non-acquisition of territory by force enshrined in the Charter.
Any annexation of territory in the West Bank, regardless of its perimeter, would also irreversibly undermine the peace process and the two-state solution.
Finally, such a decision would further undermine the stability of a region undermined by crises and Israel’s relationship with its Arab neighbours.
Our mobilization is therefore essential to prevent any annexation decision, which would be in the interests of neither the Palestinians nor the Israelis.
France calls on the Israeli Government to refrain from any unilateral measure that could lead to annexation.
France will not recognize any modification of the June 1967 lines, except those agreed by the two parties, in accordance with international law, the resolutions of this Council and the parameters on which the two-State solution is based.
As Minister Le Drian said, because of its gravity, a decision on annexation cannot go unanswered. In particular, annexation would not be without consequences for the European Union’s relations with Israel.
Unless we are able to relaunch a peace process immediately, our collective responsibility - and first and foremost the responsibility of this Council, which has defined and endorsed the parameters for resolving the conflict - is to preserve the conditions for future negotiations and the possibility of an agreement between the parties.
The Israeli-Palestinian conflict will not be resolved through unilateral decisions. France, together with its European partners, will continue to promote the path of negotiations, and more broadly multilateralism and the defence of an international rule-based order. We stand ready to play our full part in relaunching an ambitious political process and resuming credible negotiations based on international law, the relevant resolutions of this Council and internationally agreed parameters.
Those parameters are clear and well-known: two States, living side by side in peace and security along secure and recognized borders, with Jerusalem as the capital of both States. An annexation, regardless of its perimeter, would undoubtedly be an irreversible step in the opposite direction: that of a single State, which would put an end to the national aspirations of the Palestinians and to the Israeli democratic project.
We must collectively warn against this prospect, and reaffirm our readiness to accompany the parties on the two-State path, which is the only one likely to lead to a just and lasting peace in the region.