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France denounces Israel Minister over illegal settlements

February 27, 2024 at 7:39 pm

Bezalel Smotrich (C), Israeli far-right lawmaker and leader of the Religious Zionist Party [Social media]

France, on Tuesday termed “unacceptable” remarks by Israeli Finance Minister, Bezalel Smotrich, who called for the approval of plans to construct 3,300 new housing units in several illegal Jewish settlements in the West Bank, Anadolu Agency reports.

“France reiterates its condemnation of the settlement policy, illegal under international law, and once again calls on the Israeli authorities to refrain from any new project to create or expand settlements in the Occupied Palestinian Territories,” the Foreign Ministry said in a statement.

The Ministry said Israel’s ongoing policies and practices in the Occupied Palestinian Territories are akin to colonisation.

“Continuing colonisation is incompatible with the creation of a viable and contiguous Palestinian State. In addition to being a major obstacle to lasting peace, this policy is also a source of violence and tension on the ground,” the statement read.

Israel stands accused of genocide at the International Court of Justice over its deadly onslaught on the Gaza Strip, which has left nearly 30,000 people dead.

In an interim ruling in January, the Hague-based court ordered Tel Aviv to stop genocidal acts and take measures to guarantee that humanitarian assistance is provided to civilians in Gaza.​​​​​​​

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