Israel Radio reports: France considers renewed Israel-Palestinian peace talks an urgent matter, and condemns new construction in Judea & Samaria, arguing, “It fuels tensions on the ground and constitutes an obstacle to peace.”
French Ambassador to Israel Christophe Bigot told Israel Radio on Wednesday his government considered it urgent to have the Palestinians and Israelis renew negotiations. He stressed the need for a concerted effort involving all parties, including the United States, the European Union, Egypt and Jordan. According to Israel Radio, Bigot said Israelis and Palestinians should make concessions and build mutual trust.
Bigot vowed that France would not interfere in the coming Israeli elections and would cooperate with any Israeli prime minister who was elected.
Meanwhile, France sounded a critical note after the Israeli government announced on Wednesday that it would build some 200 new housing units in the Judean and Samarian communities of Kiryat Arba and Efrat. A statement issued by the French Foreign Affairs Ministry on Wednesday said France “condemns the issuing by the Israeli government of invitations to tender for the construction of 198 new homes in two settlements in the southern West Bank.”
“It is especially concerned about the impact of these two projects on the territorial contiguity of a future Palestinian state. It therefore calls on the Israeli government to reverse this provocative and illegal decision,” the statement said. “France reaffirms that the continuation of settlement activity has a very negative impact on trust between the parties, that it fuels tensions on the ground and constitutes an obstacle to peace.”
View original Israel Hayom publication at: http://www.israelhayom.com/site/newsletter_article.php?id=7094