French FM says settler violence in West Bank must end, calls for Gaza ceasefire

Stéphane Séjourné, French Foreign Minister

© APA | Stéphane Séjourné, French Foreign Minister

# 05 February 2024 19:24 (UTC +04:00)

Speaking in Jerusalem after meeting Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, French Foreign Minister Stéphane Séjourné said that settler violence in the West Bank must stop, APA reports citing Times of Israel.

“We must also prevent any risk of escalation, to avoid any flareup in the West Bank,” he said at a press conference. “It is of utmost importance to refrain from any action, decision or statement that might spark violence. Settler violence must stop in the Palestinian territories, which we condemn.”

Séjourné also condemned “any violent statements that spark Palestinian hatred.” He said “those statements are more and more frequent in Israel,” and added that “and are shared by political leaders.”

“There can in no circumstance be any transfer of Palestinians, neither from Gaza nor from the West Bank,” he declares.

Séjourné stressed that he is in Israel “as a friend,” but is here to tell truths “that our Israeli partners may have a hard time hearing.”

“For four months now,” he said, ״Gazans are under bombing, besieged and deprived of basic aid… and are gathered near Rafah,” the southernmost city where most of the displaced Gazans have ended up. “Nothing can justify such a tragedy.”

“The ongoing tragedy in Gaza must stop,” he declared, “in compliance with international law, [there must be] an immediate and sustainable ceasefire, and more aid should enter.”

Calling it “essential and urgent,” Séjourné called for a “political solution with two states living peacefully side by side, if and only if peace talks restart.”

He said the parameters are mutual recognition between Israel and a Palestinian state, and security guarantees for Israel.

“After the atrocities of October 7,” he said, “no one thinks about rewarding terrorism here, but none of Israel’s friends can imagine handling the issue of the Palestinians without solving it, and this will happen via a Palestinian state.”

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