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“France will never recognise the Occupation”

Israel must be ordered to fix and pay for any damages and harm it has caused to the Palestinians in the occupied territories, France’s counsel has told the International Court of Justice.

Its occupation is also illegal and its first obligation under international law is to “cease the illicit” and to pull out the territories its has occupied since 1967, France’s counsel leader, Diégo Colas, Legal Adviser at France’s Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs, said this week.

France believes the UN must work immediately for a lasting ceasefire , which alone will put an end to the suffering of the civilian population of Gaza.

This requires a negotiated two-State solution, based on the lines of June 4, 1967, and having both Jerusalem as capital. 12.

To achieve this, France calls for a decisive and credible relaunch of the peace process. 1

The Security Council has also affirmed it on several occasions: the existence of a Palestinian people, within the meaning of international law, can no longer be debated. As such, like all peoples, they benefit from the right to self-determination.

A peace solution will necessarily involve the conclusion of security arrangements between Israelis and Palestinians, but only if there exists in the future a genuine Palestinian State capable of concluding such arrangements and enforcing them, “that is to say a State capable of exercising its full sovereignty within its internationally recognized borders”.

“In this context, France considers that any action going against the need to “preserve the unity, continuity and integrity of the entire Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem” constitutes a violation of the right of the Palestinian people to self-determination.”

Since the end of the Six-Day War in 1967, Israel can be considered the occupying power of the West Bank, East Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip, within the Hague Regulations of 1907 concerning the laws and customs of war.

These international standards establish rights for the occupying power. “Above all, they impose positive obligations on it, the main one of which is the protection of populations subject to occupation.”

The occupation has lasted since 1967, without any real justification. The Security Council and the General Assembly have called many times on the Israeli armed forces to withdraw from the “occupied” territories.

The colonization of occupied territories is contrary to the Geneva Conventions. And the Fourth Geneva Convention forbids an Occupying Power from transferring part of its own civilian population in the territory occupied by it.

But, since 2004, Israel has continued and accelerated its policy of creating or expanding colonies in the West Bank. “On this issue, France reiterates its strong condemnation of the illegal colonization”.

Furthermore, it must be remembered that the status of occupying power strictly does not confer any legal title justifying annexation.

“On this subject, France reiterates its condemnation of comments promoting the installation of colonies in Gaza and the transfer of the Palestinian population of Gaza out of this territory.”

Measures taken by Israel to modify the status of Jerusalem – including the “basic law” of July 30, 1980 which proclaimed Jerusalem “one and indivisible” as the capital of the State of Israel.

There is “no doubt that the unilateral status imposed by Israel on Jerusalem is null and void under international law.”

So, the expropriation of Palestinian land in East Jerusalem and the statutes dedicated to the Palestinian inhabitants of East Jerusalem, are all illegal.

France considers that the historic status quo at the holy sites in Jerusalem should be maintained unchanged.

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