Israel – Palestinian Territories - Statement by Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian (14 May 2018)


While tensions on the ground are high, as reflected by the serious incidents that have taken place in the Gaza Strip over the last few weeks, France calls on all actors to demonstrate responsibility in order prevent further unrest.

After several weeks of violence and in the face an increasing number of Palestinian victims in the Gaza Strip again today, France again calls on the Israeli authorities to exercise discretion and restraint with respect to the use of force, which must be strictly proportionate. It reaffirms the duty to protect civilians, especially minors, and the right of Palestinians to demonstrate peacefully.

There is an urgent need to recreate the conditions needed to find a political solution, in a regional context already marked by heightened tensions.

France disapproves of the American decision to transfer the United States embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, as President Macron has reaffirmed on several occasions. This decision contravenes international law and in particular the UN Security Council and General Assembly resolutions.

International law is unambiguous on the status of Jerusalem. It must be determined through negotiations, like all internationally agreed parameters, in order to achieve a just and lasting solution, namely with two states living side by side in peace and security, with Jerusalem the capital of both states. This is what the law says and this is the purpose of our efforts to promote peace in the Middle East.