Channels

Michele Alliot-Marie
Photo: AP
French FM backs Palestinian statehood
After being attacked in Gaza, Michele Alliot-Marie slams settlements, says state needed ASAP

French Foreign Minister Michele Alliot-Marie said Saturday that her country does not recognize the legitimacy of West Bank settlements and that Israel must stop building them.

 

"France supports the establishment of an independent, democratic Palestinian state as soon as possible," she said at the conclusion of her visit to Israel.

 

Alliot-Marie visited the town of Sderot Friday after being attacked by angry Palestinians in the Gaza Strip earlier in the day.

 

Dozens of Gazans encircled the minister's car while hurling eggs and shoes at it as result of a comment mistakenly attributed to Alliot-Marie, who was erroneously quoted as saying that the holding of Gilad Shalit is a war crime.

 

Meanwhile Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad said the future state's infrastructure would be ready by August, according to plan.

 

In an interview with the Los Angeles Times, Fayyad defied skepticism voiced by other officials regarding his schedule. "Unless we have the spirit to defy it, it's not going to happen. Unless we believe it, how is it going to become a reality?" he said.

 

But the leader stressed that a Palestinian state will have to include Hamas in Gaza, despite the current rift with Fatah in the West Bank. He also denied having a secret plan to disengage from Israel unilaterally.

 

"Getting ready for statehood, by itself, is not going to end the occupation. It's necessary, but not sufficient. You need a political process to deliver on that," he said.

 

 

 new comment
See all talkbacks "French FM backs Palestinian statehood"
Warning:
This will delete your current comment