Q. - In Palestine, Hamas has made it known that it intends, this time, to take part in the local elections scheduled for October. Is Paris in favour of Hamas taking part in this ballot or do you still deem it a “terrorist” organization? And what’s your reaction to the information circulating on manoeuvres (from the United Arab Emirates in particular) aimed at “ousting” Mahmoud Abbas to replace him with, for example, Mohammed Dahlan?
A - France supports the local elections being organized simultaneously in the West Bank and Gaza, which is an encouraging outlook for Palestinian democracy. The ballot must take place under free, impartial conditions. Hamas is included on the list of organizations recognized by the European Union as terrorist.
As Jean-Marc Ayrault said on 3 June, "Hamas must take the first step and accept the framework set by the international community, namely recognition of the State of Israel and the agreements reached, and the renunciation of violence".
As regards your second question, it isn’t for us to comment on rumours. France supports the legitimate Palestinian authorities, in which any change will have to come about through the democratic functioning of the institutions.