France‘s foreign minister warned Sunday of the risk of “long-lasting apartheid” in Israel if the Palestinian people fail to obtain their own state.
Two days after Israel and the Palestinian resistance group Hamas agreed to a truce brokered by Egypt in which France also played a role, Jean-Yves Le Drian hoped that the cessation of hostilities would continue.
“We must initiate a policy of small steps. We must ensure that there is a logic of trust that can be established between the two camps…leading to a two-state solution,” he said while appearing on the LCI TV channel, noting it is the only solution to rule out “a risk of apartheid.”
Referring to the recent violent confrontations between Jews and Muslims in Israeli cities, Le Drian said he was worried for the first time to see the two communities clash.
Alluding to former US President Donald Trump‘s staunch pro-Israel policy under which Washington formally recognized Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and pushed for a peace plan, he added there was a perception that the conflict between Israel and Palestine would end soon.
“Those who thought that the Israeli-Palestinian conflict would gradually be extinguished were mistaken. It shows the urgency of finding a political process,” he said, underlining the crucial need for a resolution.
Otherwise, he warned, “we would then have the ingredients of long-lasting apartheid…if we continue to adopt a logic of one state or the status quo.”
Le Drian also expressed his views on another sensitive topic related to migration following the unprecedented arrival of migrants from Morocco to the Spanish border this past week. He called on Europe to adopt a migration policy to support these irregular migrants, who are in desperate need.
“We must have different treatment for regular and irregular migrants. We must filter, support those who are in an irregular situation in their country of origin and allow those who are beneficiaries of the right of asylum to find themselves in Europe,” he said.
He proposed the countries of first entry point to have filtering centers to identify such irregular migrants while also stressing the need for Europe to support development efforts in the countries of origin to deal with the heavy flow of migrants.