France asks Israel to 'freeze' Jewish settlements

25th June 2009, Comments 1 comment

President Nicolas Sarkozy asked Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to impose a "total freeze" on Jewish settlements.

Paris – French President Nicolas Sarkozy on Wednesday asked Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to impose a "total freeze" on Jewish settlements in the West Bank, a presidency statement said.

"The president of the republic called on Israel to immediately take all possible measures to encourage confidence" in its talks with the Palestinians, "beginnning with the total freeze of settlement activities," it said.

Netanyahu, on his first visit to Europe since taking office in April, flew into Paris from Rome for one-on-one talks with Sarkozy, amid reports of a fall-out with Washington over Jewish settlements in Palestinian territories.

Netanyahu had been due to meet US Middle East envoy George Mitchell here but the talks were called off amid reports -- denied by Israeli officials -- of a clash over its refusal to stop building more settlements.

Sarkozy, keen to act as a Middle East peace-broker, has previously welcomed as "an important step forward" Netanyahu's landmark endorsement of a Palestinian state, despite a raft of conditions rejected outright by Palestinian leaders.

But Paris like Washington is insisting on a complete halt to Jewish settlement activity in the occupied West Bank, which the Israeli leader has so far refused to order.

The Palestinians have said they will not meet Netanyahu until Israel halts all settlement activity. The presence of 280,000 Israelis in more than 100 settlements across the territory has been a major obstacle to peace efforts.

The international community considers all settlements in the occupied West Bank and east Jerusalem, which Israel seized in the 1967 Six Day war, to be illegal.

AFP / Expatica

1 Comment To This Article

  • bruce posted:

    on 17th July 2009, 01:09:30 - Reply

    Looks like Barack Obama has figured out that one of the main obstacles to mideast peace are the illegal Jewish settlements.The West Bank and Gaza Ghetto are Occupied Territories according to international law,The Geneva Convention,countless UN resolutions Israel has continuously ignored.
    It is important to note that these Illegal settlements are exclusively Jewish,built on stolen private land,and are connected by roads that are also exclusive.The IDF supports the whole ROTTEN system and is let loose on the Non Jewish captive Palestinian populace corralled in Israel designed walled reservations.The Aim is to make the lives of these Non Jews so insufferable as to drive them off their lands and bring in Jewish Israelis.
    Now if you build an Apartheid society not too many would argue it's not wrong,but the Israeli model is Funded buy things like tax free Israel Bonds and other slippery financial instruments with origins MOSTLY in these United States.
    Furthermore,Israel receives over $10 million a day in US DOLLARS that we know of.Unique in the annals of US foreign aid:US "CASH" is deposited in the Israeli treasury at the beginning of each year,and the US taxpayer pays the interest on that Borrowed money.Israel invests in turn that New money and collects interest.How sweet 'Tis.
    According to the Christian Science Monitor,the cost of Israel to the American TAXpayer has been over $1.3 TRILLION since 1973