Palestinian Territories

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France and the Palestinian Territories

Political relations

Our bilateral relationship builds on France’s unwavering commitment to the two-state solution. France considers that the Israeli-Palestinian conflict can only be resolved through the creation of a viable and democratic independent Palestinian State, living in peace and security alongside Israel. It considers that the two-state solution, in borders based on the lines of 1967, and involving a fair, equitable and agreed solution to the problem of refugees, is the only solution that can fulfil the national aspirations of both Israelis and Palestinians. With this in mind, France and its European partners have drawn up parameters for the resolution of the conflict.

In this framework, France has long advocated the creation of a Palestinian State. On 22 November 1974, France voted in favour of recognizing the PLO at the United Nations as an observer, reaffirming the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people. More recently, France voted in favour of Palestinian accession to UNESCO as a Member State in 2011 and in favour of non-member observer status at the United Nations in November 2012. France voted in favour of the United Nations General Assembly Resolution requesting that the flags of States that are not UN members but have Observer status, like Palestine, be raised in front of the organization’s headquarters.

France considers that Jerusalem needs to become the capital of both States, Israel and the future State of Palestine. Pending a negotiated settlement of the conflict, and in accordance with international law, France acknowledges no sovereignty over Jerusalem. France considers moreover, like the rest of the international community, that so long as the question of Jerusalem has not been settled by negotiations on the final status, the parties should refrain from any action that could undermine the status quo.

French presence

Website of theConsulate-General of France in Jerusalem
French community in Palestine: 18,172 French nationals registered

Visits

The French President received President Abbas at the Élysée Palace on 5 July 2017, 22 December 2017 and 21 September 2018. They also met on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly in September 2019.

The French Prime Minister received his Palestinian counterpart, Mr Rami Hamdallah, at the Hôtel de Matignon on 7 December 2018, during the second intergovernmental French-Palestinian seminar.

On 7 December 2018, the French Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs, Mr Jean-Yves Le Drian, met with the Palestinian Minister of Foreign Affairs and Expatriates, Mr Riyad Al-Malki. He visited Israel and the Palestinian Territories on 26 and 27 March 2018, meeting with President Abbas and Minister Al-Malki.

French Minister of the Economy and Finance Mr Bruno Le Maire visited Israel and the Palestinian Territories from 4 to 6 September 2017.

President Abbas visited Paris on 11 January 2015 to participate in a march alongside President Hollande and some 50 Heads of State and Government after the terrorist attacks on 7 and 9 January 2015.

Ambassadors

Consul-General of France in Jerusalem: René Troccaz
Twitter account

Head of the Palestinian Mission in France: Salman El Herfi

Economic relations

France deploys various economic and financial instruments to support Palestinian economic development and institutions. This support aims to preserve the viability of the future Palestinian State. As such, France has put in place:

  • Direct budget support of €16 million annually to the Palestinian Authority, actively contributing to building the institutions of the future Palestinian State;
  • Cooperation implemented by the Agence Française de Développement (AFD, French Development Agency), averaging €12 million per year between 2015 and 2018 and focused primarily on the water and sanitation, private sector and local development sectors. The AFD also finances French NGOs with projects aimed at building the capacities of local civil society stakeholders;
  • Humanitarian aid and assistance for Palestinian refugees, via a contribution to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA). Given the financial difficulties facing UNRWA, France announced exceptional support measures, bringing its contribution to the Agency up to €40 million in 2019.

France and Palestine place a special focus on developing their economic relations. As such, France and the Palestinian Authority signed a grant agreement during the 2018 Intergovernmental Seminar, financed by the Ministry of the Economy and Finance (€15 million), to support the acquisition of French equipment by Palestinian SMEs. In addition, the Palestine Public Finance Institute, financed by France, was inaugurated by the Minister of Finance in November 2013.

Cultural, scientific and technical cooperation

France dedicated €3.5 million to cultural, scientific and technical cooperation in 2018 in order to support several key sectors, including culture and the media, teaching of French, academic and institutional cooperation, and civil society stakeholders.

Decentralized cooperation is also expanding rapidly: some one hundred French local government bodies are involved in projects relating to Palestinian counterparts.

Updated: January 2020