Paris has revealed key points of the French president’s upcoming speech ahead of his visit to Israel
French President Emmanuel Macron intends to call for “a return to a real peace process” and and end to the “colonization” of the West Bank when he visits Israel, the French outlet BFMTV reported on Monday.
Macron, who is expected in Tel Aviv on Tuesday, intends to express solidarity with Israel and make “very clear commitments against terrorist groups,” said BFM, citing the Elysee Palace.
He also wants to “reopen a political perspective” for the Palestinians, in order to see the release of all the hostages held in Gaza, defuse hostilities, and “avoid the generalization of the conflict” into a “dangerous and uncontrolled escalation in the Middle East.” A key part of this proposal, the French presidency added, would be stopping the growth of Israeli settlements in the West Bank.
An unnamed presidential adviser told BFM that France wants a temporary truce in order to facilitate the release of hostages held by Hamas….CONTINUE READING
“We want a humanitarian pause, a humanitarian truce, which if necessary gives us enough space to build a political scenario which would hopefully lead to a ceasefire,” the adviser said.
Hamas launched an incursion into Israel on October 7, killing an estimated 1,400 Israelis and taking another 200 hostage. Israel has responded by declaring war on the Palestinian group and laying siege to Gaza, while launching artillery and air strikes and killing up to 4,000 people, according to local authorities.
Macron intends to express support for Israel and in particular, French Israelis, 30 of whom were killed in the October 7 Hamas incursion. Seven more are listed as missing and presumably being held captive in Gaza.
In addition to a collective commitment to combat the threat of terrorism, “there is a need to open a political perspective that gives substance to the only solution that is valid in the Middle East, which is the two-state solution,” the adviser added, noting that France has “never deviated” from this objective.
France raised its terrorist threat advisory to the highest level on October 13, after a high school stabbing in Arras linked to Islamic extremism. Macron’s Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin has banned all pro-Palestinian protests and threatened to deport any foreign nationals who violate the prohibition.