French President Emmanuel Macron Alamy
Peace Process

Macron to discuss creation of Palestinian state on Israel visit

Macron will also urge “a halt of the colonisation” of the West Bank as a result of Israeli settlements.

FRENCH PRESIDENT EMMANUEL Macron will call for the “resumption of a genuine peace process” for the creation of a Palestinian state and “halting the colonisation” of the West Bank while visiting Israel on Tuesday, his office has said.

“The only way to be useful is to one, show solidarity to Israel; two, make commitments against terrorist groups very clear; and three, to open up a political perspective,” Macron’s office said ahead of the trip.

Macron will also express France’s “solidarity” with Israel and the French citizens living there, while also urging “a halt of the colonisation” of the West Bank as a result of Israeli settlements.

The French leader’s Israel visit for talks with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was announced late Sunday, over two weeks after Hamas militants stormed into Israel from the Gaza Strip on October 7.

They killed at least 1,400 people, mostly civilians who were shot, mutilated or burnt to death on the first day of the raid, according to Israeli officials. Among them were 30 French citizens.

Seven French citizens are still missing: one of them, a French woman, has been confirmed as among the hostages taken by Hamas. Macron has said the others are also thought to be hostages, but there has not yet been confirmation.

Macron’s office also said that Hezbollah, the powerful Lebanese Islamist movement, “must not join the conflict”, saying that doing so “would only bring misery”.

In Gaza, the Hamas-run health ministry says more than 5,000 people, most of them also civilians, have been killed during Israel’s retaliation.

© AFP 2023