France is pushing for the publication of a presidential statement on behalf of the UN Security Council that calls for the deployment of international observers to Jerusalem’s holy sites, notably the Temple Mount, to ensure the status quo is maintained after recent violations, Le Figaro newspaper reported citing French diplomats.
The French ambassador to the UN François Delattre said Tuesday that France prepared a draft of a presidential statement regarding the need to maintain the Al-Aqsa status quo during a Security Council meet on the Jerusalem escalation. However, he did not address the possibility of sending international observers to the scene.
The presidential statement does not constitute a binding Security Council resolution, only serving as a statement of intent. 15 members of the UN Security Council need to consent in order for a presidential statement to be published. It remains unclear if France has managed to achieve such consensus.
On Friday, Israel’s new ambassador to the UN Danny Danon said that Israel objects to any international involvement or oversight on the Temple Mount since it would violate the status quo. In light of Israel’s position, it’s hard to see how the US could support the call for deploying international observers on the Temple Mount, even if this is only a declarative step.
On Wednesday, Palestinian ambassador to the UN Riyad Mansour called on the Security Council to adopt a resolution guaranteeing the safety and protection of Palestinians and Islamic holy sites in Jerusalem, similar to Resolution 904 adopted after the Cave of the Patriarchs massacre in 1994, which saw international monitors deployed in Hebron.
The French move in the Security Council is the latest French move in recent months relating to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
France tried to promote a draft UN Security Council resolution determining the principles for resolving the conflict, but failed to gain sufficient international support. Last week, French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius said that France is considering the introduction of a Security Council draft resolution against settlement construction