Faced with the possible annexation of territories on the West Bank by Israel, France and other European countries want to start negotiations between Israelis and Palestinians.
Several European countries, including France, Germany and Italy, are preparing a “joint action” to try to restart “negotiations” between Israelis and Palestinians. They do not rule out a “response” in the event of annexation of certain territories on the West Bank, announced Wednesday, May 20, the head of French diplomacy, Jean-Yves Le Drian.
“We work 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.
>> Read: What does the Netanyahu-Gantz Pact provide for the annexation of the West Bank on July 1?
The goal is to get “everyone back to the negotiating table,” the Foreign Minister said, 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 talked about “response” measures should the annexation occur. “We are working together for a joint prevention and eventual action if this decision was taken by chance,” he said without further information.
On Sunday, Israel joined a unity government, which shares a power split between Likud (right) of Benjamin Netanyahu and the centrist formation “Bleu Blanc” of former army chief Benny Gantz, and their respective allies.
According to the Netanyahu / Gantz agreement, as of July 1, the government must present 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 the more than 130 settlements, as well as the creation of a Palestinian state on amputated territory.
“This would constitute a serious violation of international law for us and” would irreversibly jeopardize the two-state solution and the search for a lasting peace, “the minister emphasized.
France is also in “contact with the Arab states, especially Jordan, Egypt, signing the peace agreements with Israel so that they themselves send high-level messages to the Israeli government”, as well as with the Palestinian authorities, Jean-Yves Le Drian said.
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas renewed his threats on Tuesday to end security cooperation with Israel, which plans to annex territories on the occupied West Bank.