Israel should choose peace: France
Whichever party forms the eventual Israeli government should standby the country’s previous commitments.PARIS – France called Wednesday on whichever Israeli party ends up building a ruling coalition following elections to renew its commitment to peace and halt settlement building in east Jerusalem.
Foreign ministry spokesman Eric Chevallier said it was too soon to comment on the result of Tuesday's poll, which threw up no clear winner, but called on the eventual government to stand by Israel's previous commitments.
"We call on the future Israeli government to sign up firmly and without delay to the peace process, in all its forms, and to bring it to its conclusion as quickly as possible," Chevallier added.
"We expect that the new government will respect all the commitments made by Israel under the Quartet's road map, in the first instance by freezing settlement building, including in east Jerusalem and without exception."
The so-called Middle East diplomatic Quartet - the European Union, United Nations, United States and Russia - is attempting to broker a permanent solution to the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians.
"We continue to call on Israel's current and incoming governments to take the necessary measures to make permanent the Gaza ceasefire ... in particular as regards the reopening of Gaza crossing points," Chevallier added.
Israel declared a unilateral ceasefire on 18 January after a 22-day offensive against the Palestinian Hamas militia, which controls Gaza.
France and Egypt are trying to mediate a more permanent truce by persuading Hamas to halt its firing of rockets into Israel and Israel to drop its blockade of the territory.
[AFP / Expatica]