Paris has revealed key points of President Macron’s 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, slow down the escalation of the 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.
France wants a temporary truce in order to facilitate the release of hostages from Hamas captivity, an unnamed presidential adviser told BFM.
“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 or so hostage. Israel has responded by declaring war on the Palestinian group and laying siege to Gaza, while launching artillery and air strikes.
Macron intends to express France’s support for Israel and the French Israelis, 30 of whom were killed in the October 7 incursion by Hamas. 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.
Organizers of the 2023 MTV Europe Music Awards show, scheduled for November 5 in Paris, canceled it this weekend, citing security concerns and the “volatility of world events.”
October 24, 2023 at 02:42AM