French FM decries ‘settler violence,’ demands ‘immediate ceasefire’ in Gaza

Séjourné said he was compelled to say things ‘that our Israeli partners may have a hard time hearing.’

By Vered Weiss, World Israel News

After a meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, the new French Foreign Minister Stéphane Séjourné criticized “settler violence,” called for a “immediate ceasefire” along with the release of hostages and urged the creation of a Palestinian State.

In a press conference at the King David Hotel in Jerusalem on Monday, Séjourné said, “We must also prevent any risk of escalation, to avoid any flareup in (Judea and Samaria).”

He added, “It is of utmost importance to refrain from any action decision or statement that might spark violence. Settler violence must stop in the Palestinian territories, which we condemn.”

The Foreign Minister also criticized “any violent statements that spark Palestinian hatred,” and added, “Those statements are more and more frequent in Israel and are shared by political leaders.”

He also criticized statements by politicians calling for a “voluntary emigration” of Palestinians from Gaza.

Séjourné acknowledged that representing France he was coming to Israel as a friend, but added he was compelled to say things “that our Israeli partners may have a hard time hearing.”

“For four months now,” he began, ״Gazans are under bombing, besieged and deprived of basic aid… and are gathered near Rafa,” he added, “Nothing can justify such a tragedy.”

Séjourné declared, “The ongoing tragedy in Gaza must stop, and in compliance with international law, [there must be] an immediate and sustainable ceasefire, and more aid should enter.”

He then called the establishment of a Palestinian state “essential and urgent” and called for a “political solution with two states living peacefully side by side.”

Séjourné said that “After the atrocities of October 7th, no one thinks of rewarding terrorism here” but added that no one can imagine there is a solution to the crisis without a Palestinian State.

The Foreign Minister also called for the “immediate and unconditional release” of all hostages held in Gaza, among them three French Nationals.