France considers more measures against illegal Israeli settlers

France considered imposing further sanctions on Israeli settlers in the occupied West Bank on March 30, Arab News and agencies reported. 

As well as the unprecedented bloodshed in Gaza, attacks on Palestinians in the West Bank, by Israeli forces and settlers, have become more frequent since October. 

In November last year, Paris said that the European Union should consider slapping sanctions on settlers as Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Anne-Claire Legende stressed, “We believe that the international community has a role to play to end these acts of violence (committed by Israeli settlers) which are extremely destabilising for the region, but also harm the prospects for a two state-solution.”  

In February, 28 Israeli settlers accused of attacking Palestinian civilians in the occupied West Bank were banned from French soil. 

French Foreign Minister Stephane Sejourne reheated the idea during a meeting with his Egyptian and Jordanian counterparts, Sameh Shoukry and Ayman Safadi respectively, in Cairo on March 30. 

READ: EU leaders blasts major Israeli settlement plan in West Bank

The talks in Egypt mainly focused on the prevention of a potential onslaught of Rafah, Gaza’s most southern city home to 1.5 million (most of whom are refugees), however violent Israeli settlers in the West Bank as well as pressuring the UN Security Council to take measures towards a ceasefire in Gaza were addressed in detail. 

On March 25, a Security Council draft resolution calling for a ceasefire passed as the United States, who had previously vetoed such a resolution on three occasions, abstained much to the furore of Israeli premier Benjamin Netanyahu as the state’s biggest ally is somewhat pressuring it over their ruthless actions since the beginning of October. 

During the meeting, Sejourne said that France would be putting forward a draft resolution at the UN Security Council setting out a process for a politically negotiated settlement of the Israel-Gaza conflict. 

Following the talks, the French official wrote on X (formerly Twitter), “Alongside Sameh Shoukry and Ayman Safadi, we are committed to strengthening our cooperation on humanitarian aid, the release of hostages and on the issues that we want to bring to the UN.”  

The Egyptian and Jordanian Foreign Ministers also stressed that the only way of achieving peace in the region was a two-state solution. 

Arab News

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