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16 November 2011
Statements made by the Ministry of Foreign and European Spokesperson (Paris, November 16, 2011)
Israel – Settlement activity
France condemns the Israeli decision to issue, in the near future, new invitations to tender for the construction of 800 homes in the settlements of East Jerusalem, notably in Har Homa – a settlement whose continuous expansion constitutes a threat to the territorial continuity of a future Palestinian State.
France wants to reaffirm that settlement activity is illegal under international law and that it constitutes an obstacle on the path toward a just and lasting peace, which notably means that Jerusalem would become the capital of two sovereign and viable States.
This announcement is yet another provocation, while the international community is continuing its efforts to relaunch the negotiations between the Israelis and the Palestinians.
That’s why we urge the Israeli government - which has the power to do so - to reverse this decision as well as those taken over the last few weeks.
Attack on the Gaza Strip – Summoning of the Israeli ambassador
I indicated to you yesterday that we were in contact with the Israeli authorities regarding the attack on the Gaza Strip during the night of 13 to 14 November.
I want to point out that our ambassador in Tel Aviv has made representations to the Israeli authorities.
This morning, at the Quai d’Orsay, we reaffirmed to the Israeli ambassador the extent to which we strongly deplored the consequences of this attack on the head of our consular branch in Gaza and on the members of his family.
We reaffirmed to him that, while we recognize the need for Israel to ensure its security, it must avoid causing any harm to civilians as well as to the French presence in Gaza.