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France slams Israeli officials’ statements calling for reinstalling illegal settlements in Gaza

On Wednesday, France denounced statements made by Israeli officials advocating for the reinstatement of unlawful Jewish settlements in Gaza.

Published February 21,2024

France on Wednesday condemned Israeli officials' statements calling for the reestablishment of illegal Jewish settlements in Gaza.

"France reiterates its condemnation of pronouncement of promoting the reinstallation of settlements in Gaza and the transfer of the Palestinian population of Gaza outside this territory," Diego Colas, French Foreign Ministry's legal affairs director, said at a hearing at the International Court of Justice (ICJ) on the legal consequences of the Israeli occupation of Palestinian territories.

He added that France also strongly opposes illegal settlement policy by Israel in the occupied Palestinian territories which includes eviction of Palestinian families and destruction of their properties.

"Other states have an obligation not to recognize any form of illegal annexation of territories. France will never recognize the illegal annexation of territories in the West Bank," Colas added.

He said: "Only a two-state solution will meet both Israel's right to security and the legitimate aspirations of Palestinians for a viable, contiguous, independent state. To this end, France calls for a decisive and credible restarting of the peace process."

Public hearings started Monday in The Hague following the UN General Assembly's request for an advisory opinion on the legal consequences arising from policies and practices of Israel in the occupied Palestinian territories, including East Jerusalem.

South Africa brought a genocide case against Israel to the ICJ in late December and asked it for emergency measures to end the bloodshed in Gaza, where more than 29,000 Palestinians have been killed since Oct. 7.

The court in January ordered Israel to take "all measures within its power" to prevent acts of genocide in Gaza but fell short of ordering a cease-fire.

It also ordered Israel to take "immediate and effective" measures to enable the provision of urgently needed basic services and humanitarian assistance in the Gaza Strip.

A cross-border incursion by the Palestinian group Hamas on Oct. 7 killed an estimated 1,200 people, but the ensuing Israeli offensive into Gaza has pushed 85% of the territory's population into internal displacement amid acute shortages of food, clean water, and medicine, while 60% of the enclave's infrastructure has been damaged or destroyed, according to the UN.

Despite international outcry, Israel now plans a ground invasion of Rafah, which houses around 1.4 million refugees.