Israel/Palestinian Territories - Q&A - Extract from the press briefing (7 May 2024)


Q : At the speech he gave at yesterday’s CRIF* dinner, Prime Minister Gabriel Attal had not a word to spare for the Palestinian victims while justifying Israel’s “overreactions,” saying that they could not be considered overreactions and implying that they were legitimate. At the same event, government spokesperson Prisca Thévenot was all smiles with former IDF spokesperson Julien Bahloul while the Israeli army was bombarding Rafah and seizing control of the border crossing with Egypt.
Is this an expression of the French government’s unconditional support for Israeli operations? Isn’t it at odds with your statements on Rafah ? What message did the government wish to send to the Palestinian people through these actions by its representatives?

A : France has consistently reiterated the absolute need to protect civilians in Gaza in accordance with international humanitarian law. We reiterate our strong opposition to an Israeli offensive in Rafah, which would lead to a humanitarian catastrophe on a whole new scale, and to any forced displacement of Palestinian civilians.

The hostages must be released immediately and a lasting ceasefire must provide civilian populations with the protection they need.

The Conseil représentatif des institutions juives de France, or CRIF, is an umbrella organization that represents Jewish interests in France.]