Thursday, January 28, 2021

Abbas welcomes French peace initiative

By Zuzana Brezinová - June 22, 2015
Section: [Main News]
Tags: [Peace Process] [Hamas] [settlement construction]

French Foreign Minister, Laurent Fabius, travelled to Ramallah and Jerusalem on Sunday, June 21, in an attempt to reignite peace negotiations frozen since the failure of the U.S initiative last April. Netanyahu a priori condemned any resolution that would disregard Israeli security concerns, while Abbas vowed to embrace the French proposal.


"We are committed to ideas that will launch the peace process, start negotiations to end occupation and establish an independent, geographically connected Palestinian state in the West Bank, Gaza Strip and Jerusalem within the concept of the two-state solution," said  President Abbas during a meeting with Fabius in Ramallah on Sunday, according to Ma’an News Agency.


According to the French minister, the Israeli occupation of the Palestinian Territories and continuous construction of new settlements in the West Bank seriously inhibit the peace process. However, he deems it necessary to resume the talks, otherwise the countries will face “the twin risk of stalemate and setting the conflict ablaze,” Reuters reported.


“What is important is to get these talks restarted. Israel's security has to be assured but also the rights of the Palestinians have to be recognized, because where there is no justice, there is no peace. In that regard, if the colonisation progresses, the two-state solution recedes,” said Fabius L’Express reports.


The Israeli PM commented on the initial French proposal saying that “there is no real reference to Israel's security needs or our other national interests. They are simply trying to push us into indefensible borders while completely ignoring what will happen on the other side of the border," Ma’an News reported.


Fabius laid out his roadmap to peace at a joint conference with Sameh Shukri, Egyptian FM, in Cairo on Saturday. This roadmap proposes to re-launch the talks with the support of an international monitoring group composed of the Arab League, the EU and the U.N. Security Council members.


The initiative, which was already embraced by Egypt and Jordan, should ideally result in a U.N. Security Council resolution anchoring the conditions of the final settlement that would observe a two-state solution within the 1967-borders.


However, the question remains whether or not to include a direct reference to the creation of an independent Jewish state. Especially, given that Netanyahu considers such a reference a non-negotiable 'precondition to any final peace deal’, as The Times of Israel reported.


“I find it frankly inconceivable that while the Palestinians expect us to recognize a Palestinian nation-state, they refuse to accord us the same privilege, recognizing a Jewish nation-state,” said Netanyahu.


Moreover the Israeli PM claims that what a fruitful negotiation process necessitates is a direct dialogue between the two parties, which Abbas attempts to avoid.


“And why does he go that route? Because even though the Palestinians ran away from the negotiations again and again and again, it is Israel that is being blamed,” said Netanyahu as reported in the Jerusalem Post.


However, this criticism could be interpreted as yet another expression of Israeli defiance towards the international community surfacing in recent days.


Last week, the Knesset labelled the UN call on Israel to protect Palestinian children as 'a black day for the UN’ and barred a special UNHRC envoy from entering Gaza for the purposes of investigating into violation of human rights during the last year’s Gaza War.


Emmanuel Nahshon, spokesman to the Israeli Foreign Ministry, said: “Israel cooperates with all the international commissions and all (UN) rapporteurs, except when the mandate handed to them is anti-Israeli and Israel has no chance to make itself heard.”


Yet, French FM stressed that this is not the case of the emergent initiative, as the international community refuses to deal with anyone advocating other than peaceful means of conflict resolution and who is not willing to recognize the State of Israel.


Following the conference in Ramallah on Sunday, Fabius said that Abbas promised that the new Palestinian unity government would, “only include women and men who recognise Israel, renounce violence and who are in agreement with the principles of the Mideast Quartet.”


Since Hamas officially denounces the legitimacy of Israel’s existence, the requirements presented by Abbas could ultimately lead to its exclusion from the new government, to which Fabius responded: “And that suits us perfectly."



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