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Israel - SItuation in Gaza (Q&A - Excerpt from the daily press briefing - November 16, 2012)

Q : I’d like you to explain the European position calling on Israel to ensure that its response is proportionate. I don’t understand. There seems to be a new rationale. We usually urge both parties to demonstrate restraint and avoid any act of violence but it seems to me that the whole world, including Europe, is giving Israel a green light to take action against Gaza. I’m confused about what’s going on here.

R : On the contrary, France has issued very clear statements about the situation in Gaza, notably through Laurent Fabius yesterday. These statements express - to echo what the minister said – our grave concern regarding the deterioration in the situation and also urge the parties to demonstrate restraint and calm and to refrain from any escalation of violence.

President Hollande reaffirmed this once again this morning. He spoke about this matter with President Morsi in order to convey to him the same message calling for restraint and calm, as well as to underscore Egypt’s central role in the region. He asked him to do everything in his power to stop the violence.

This is consistent with France’s constant, long-held position that Israel has a right to security - we have always condemned in the strongest possible terms the firing of rockets from Gaza toward southern Israel -, but also that all parties have a responsibility to ease tensions and that the Palestinians have a right to their own state. To quote the minister, violence will not solve anything.



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