I thank Tor Wennesland for his briefing.
France condemns the continuing unilateral measures, which constitute an obstacle to peace.
It condemns the Israeli colonisation of the Palestinian territories, which is illegal under international law. Settlement activities are a major obstacle to peace.
France calls on the Israeli government to abandon the construction of new housing units in the settlements. Recent decisions regarding new settlements taken by the Israeli authorities in Jerusalem are worrying. France will never recognize the illegal annexation of territories, nor the legalization of outposts. France is also deeply concerned by the continuing demolitions in East Jerusalem and the West Bank.
We also condemn the destruction of humanitarian infrastructure by Israel in Area C. The August 17 demolition of the Ein Samiya school in Ramallah governorate, financed by European donors including France, is unacceptable. International humanitarian law must be respected. Palestinian children have a right to education.
France is also very concerned by the forced departure of Palestinians from Area C in the Ramallah governorate, due to repeated attacks by Israeli settlers. It recalls that forced population transfers are contrary to the IVth Geneva Convention.
France also condemns all attacks on civilian populations, which are never justified. We condemn the attacks perpetrated this Saturday in Hawara and this Monday near Hebron, which led to the death of three Israeli civilians. France also condemned in the strongest possible terms the terrorist attack in Tel Aviv on August 5, and reiterates its unwavering attachment to Israel’s security.
The violence committed by certain settlers against Palestinian civilians with a view to terrorizing them are equally unjustifiable and reprehensible acts. They must not go unpunished.
Given the risk of escalation, France calls on all parties to exercise the greatest restraint.
This Council is responsible for enforcing the resolutions it has adopted, including Resolution 2334.
As the 30th anniversary of the Oslo Accords approaches, the lack of progress on the ground is fuelling the spiral of violence and undermining international peace and security. The Security Council must engage to take concrete action in favor of implementation of the two-state solution.
The first step is to restore a credible political horizon. The United Nations has an important role to play in restoring trust between the parties and relaunching the peace process. The constructive engagement of regional actors is also essential. The normalization of relations between Israel and several states in the region contributes to stability and security, but this dynamic will remain incomplete as long as it is not accompanied by a resumption of the political process towards a solution that meets the legitimate aspirations of both Palestinians and Israelis.
France also recalls the essential role of UNRWA, the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees, which contributes to the stability of the region by providing essential humanitarian aid to Palestinian refugees, particularly in the areas of security and education. France has considerably increased its financial support to UNRWA since 2018 and calls on all member states to do the same.
Both Israelis and Palestinians deserve to live in peace and security. France is ready to contribute to any peace initiative to advance the two-state solution.
I thank you.