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Official speeches and statements - December 22, 2020

Publié le December 22, 2020

1. United Nations - Middle East (Implementation of resolution 2334) - Statement by Ms Nathalie Broadhurst, deputy permanent representative of France to the United Nations, chargée d’affaires a.i. at the Security Council (New York - December 21, 2020)

Mr. President, thank you,

I thank the Special Coordinator for his briefing. And I extend our thanks to him for his tireless work over the past five years as Special Coordinator, as well as our warm congratulations on his forthcoming position.

Mr. President,

Almost four years after the adoption of resolution 2334, France regrets that the Council’s call to reverse the negative trends on the ground has not been heeded and that the two-State solution is more than ever in danger.

The Secretary-General’s report is unequivocal: over the past four years, Israel has advanced or approved 28,000 housing units in the West Bank and East Jerusalem. And it has issued tenders for another 12,000 units.

France regularly condemns Israeli decisions on settlement activity which, by their current scale, only reinforce the risk of a de facto annexation of Palestinian territories. In this regard, it has condemned the recent announcements regarding Givaat Hamatos. Together with our European partners, we called upon Israel to reverse this decision and all other unilateral measures which undermine the viability of a future Palestinian state. And I reiterate this urgent call today.

We are also very concerned by the sharp increase in demolitions and seizure of Palestinian structures, including those funded by international donors, including France and the European Union. France urges Israel to effectively implement the freeze on demolitions in the context of the pandemic and, when necessary, to compensate those affected.

France also reminds Israel, as an occupying Power, of its legal obligations under the Geneva Conventions.

France will not recognize any changes to the 1967 lines apart from those agreed between the parties. It also recalls the obligation for all States to distinguish in their relevant dealings in their exchanges between the territory of Israel and the territories occupied since 1967. This distinction must be made in particular in bilateral agreements and in all trade, for example through the differentiated labeling of products from the West Bank and East Jerusalem settlements.

Ongoing settlement activities at an accelerated pace threatens more than ever the two-state solution. And that is why it is more urgent than ever today to relaunch a political process.

The parameters of the settlement for the Israeli-Palestinian conflict are well known, and they are constantly recalled in this Council: two States, living in peace and security, within secure and recognized borders based on the 1967 lines, both with Jerusalem as their capital. These parameters have been defined in order to bring a fair and lasting peace to the region. They guarantee Israel’s security and respond to the legitimate aspirations of the Palestinians, in accordance with international law. It is our responsibility to work together to make them a reality.

To that end, we must first work to restore trust between the parties. In that regard, France welcomes the resumption of cooperation between the Palestinian Authority and Israel, in particular through the resumption of the payment of tax clearances to the Palestinian Authority, following the Israeli authorities’ commitment to respect the bilateral agreements that have been signed.

We call on the parties to go further, to work together to implement the recommendations of the Special Coordinator in his report. In particular, it is urgent that Israel in particular ease the restrictions in the Gaza Strip in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Finally, there is an urgent need to strengthen the cohesion of Palestinian governance. This will require the organization of long-overdue elections. In this regard, we regret the absence of agreement between Palestinian factions to date.

It is more necessary than ever that everyone show responsibility and demonstrate political courage. France will continue to work with its German, Egyptian and Jordanian partners to recreate a climate conducive to dialogue between the parties. It will spare no effort to promote the resumption of a credible political process, in consultation with all the stakeholders concerned, and will continue to give its full support to UNRWA.

Thank you, Mr. President.