Faced with the possible annexation of territories in the West Bank by Israel, France and other European countries want to relaunch negotiations between Israelis and Palestinians.
Several European countries, including France, Germany and Italy, are preparing a “joint action” to try to relaunch “negotiations” between Israelis and Palestinians. They do not exclude a “response” in the event of annexation of certain territories in the West Bank, announced, Wednesday, May 20, the head of French diplomacy, Jean-Yves Le Drian.
“We are working with Italy, Germany, Spain, plus some Member States, Luxembourg, Ireland […] to achieve joint action, “said Jean-Yves Le Drian, during a hearing before the Foreign Affairs Committee of the National Assembly.
The goal is to get “everyone back to the negotiating table,” said the foreign minister, adding that he would meet “in a few days” with his new Israeli counterpart.
“We will act discreetly with each other and in a more public way, if the opportunity is given to us in the coming days,” he said.
“A serious violation” of international law
Jean-Yves Le Drian also spoke of “response” measures if the annexation were to materialize. “We are working together for a common prevention and possibly response action if this decision were taken by chance,” he said without further details.
Israel endowed itself on Sunday with a unity government, which devotes a power sharing between the Likud (right) of Benjamin Netanyahu and the centrist formation “Bleu Blanc” of the former army chief Benny Gantz, and their respective allies.
Under the Netanyahu / Gantz agreement, the government must present, from July 1, its strategy to translate the Trump plan into reality. The latter provides for the annexation of the Jordan Valley (30% of the West Bank) and more than 130 settlements, as well as the creation of a Palestinian state on an amputated territory.
“This would constitute for us a serious violation” of international law and “would irreversibly jeopardize the two-state solution and the search for a lasting peace”, underlined the minister.
France is also in “contact with the Arab States, in particular Jordan, Egypt, signatories of the peace agreements with Israel so that they themselves pass high-level messages to the Israeli government”, as well as with the Palestinian authorities, said Jean-Yves Le Drian.
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas renewed his threats on Tuesday to end security cooperation with Israel, which plans to annex territories in the occupied West Bank.