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PA claim: France adopts PA’s terror-supporting political demands including call to free mass murderers

Maurice Hirsch, Adv.  |

In a meeting with PLO Executive Committee Secretary and PLO Chief Negotiator Saeb Erekat, French Consul-General, René Troccaz, defined “his country’s” positions, which include support for the PA’s radical political demands, such as the call to release all terrorist Palestinian prisoners including mass murderers, claimed the official PA daily. In addition, the French Consul-General said France supports conditioning any Israeli-Palestinian peace agreement on flooding Israel with millions of Palestinian refugees, which would lead to the end of Israel as a Jewish state.  

Troccaz presented France’s rejection of the Israeli intention to apply its civilian law to parts of Judea and Samaria, and called for the creation of a Palestinian state, the resolution of the Palestinian refugee situation, and the release of imprisoned terrorists:

“During a meeting between [PLO Executive Committee Secretary Saeb] Erekat and French Consul General René Troccaz, …the French consul general emphasized his country’s absolute rejection of [an Israeli] annexation, and demanded to cancel it and begin a credible peace process on the basis of international law, the international bodies, and the defined agreements and sources of authority in such a way that will guarantee the end of the occupation, the realization of the independence of the State of Palestine whose capital is East Jerusalem within the 1967 borders, the resolution of the permanent status issues – foremost among them the issue of the refugees based on [UN] Resolution 194 (see note below –Ed.), and the release of the prisoners.”

[Official PA daily Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, July 3, 2020]  

In other words according to the PA, France's position is that in a peace agreement with the Palestinians Israel must agree to a solution to the Palestinian refugee situation based on UN resolution 194. This is the same UN resolution that the PA quotes as guaranteeing the rights of over 5.5 million so-called “refugees” to flood Israel. Since Israel’s population is just over 9 million people, of whom 2 million are Israeli Arabs, in practice, what the French are suggesting is the destruction of Israel as a Jewish country.   

Next, France believes that in order to achieve peace, Israel must agree to the “release of the prisoners.” These prisoners include mass murderers responsible for multiple terror attacks, such as Abdullah Barghouti, murderer of 67, Ibrahim Hamed, murderer of 54, and Hassan Salame, murderer of 44, and hundreds of other murderers.     

It is unclear why France would believe that the release of mass murderers is a prerequisite to Israeli-Palestinian peace. These terrorists slaughtered hundreds of civilians, many of whom held foreign citizenship. Demanding the release of terrorist murderers is not only a call to undermine justice, but is a direct expression of support for terrorists.

Close inspection of the purported French position reveals a worrying reality.

Shortly before Troccaz met with Erekat, the PA published its demands in anticipation of Israel’s decision to apply its civilian law to certain parts of Judea and Samaria. France’s position, as expressed by Troccaz, is nothing more than France adopting the PA demands:

“Recently the Palestinian leadership has increased its international contacts in order to prevent the annexation and prepare for an [international peace] conference, including members of the international Quartet (i.e., US, EU, Russia, and UN), and it has conveyed a direct message to the states: Holding an international peace conference with complete authorities under international auspices, relying on international law and the internationally agreed upon sources of authority, so that it will realize the outlook of the two-state solution, the end of the Israeli occupation, the achievement of national independence for the State of Palestine within the 1967 borders with East Jerusalem as its capital, the resolution of the refugees’ [cause] according to UN Resolution 194 and the release of all the prisoners.”

[Official PA daily Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, June 19, 2020]

In other words, the PA claims that as part of its participation in the Israeli-Palestinian peace efforts, France has simply adopted the entire PA narrative, and now conditions achieving peace on Israel committing national suicide.

Noting the glaring similarities between the position of France as expressed by the French Consul and the PA talking points, Palestinian Media Watch sent a request to the French Consulate General asking to confirm that the quote in the official PA daily did indeed reflect Troccaz’s statements in the meeting with Erekat. At the time of writing the French Consulate General has not yet responded. 

UN Resolution 194 (Chapter 11, Dec. 11, 1948) states that "the refugees wishing to return to their homes and live at peace with their neighbors should be permitted to do so at the earliest practicable date, and that compensation should be paid for the property of those choosing not to return." Palestinian leaders argue this means that all Arabs who left Israel during the war (hundreds of thousands) and their descendants (a few million) have a "right of return" to Israel. Israel argues that the resolution only calls for a limited return and only under certain conditions, especially focusing on the words "wishing to return... and live at peace with their neighbors."