‘Risk of Long-Lasting Apartheid’ in Israel

‘Risk of Long-Lasting Apartheid’ in Israel
‘Risk of Long-Lasting Apartheid’ in Israel

French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian on Sunday said there was a risk of "long-lasting apartheid" in Israel if the Palestinians were denied their own state.

Le Drian is one of the first senior French officials to use the term "apartheid" in reference to Israel, which has angrily denied any policy of racial discrimination, news outlets reported.

He made the remarks to RTL radio and Le Figaro newspaper in reference to the clashes between Jews and Arabs that erupted in several Israeli cities during the latest conflict.

The violence, which showed simmering anger among Israeli Arabs over the crackdown on Palestinians in Jerusalem, shattered years of peaceful coexistence in Israel.

"It's the first time and it clearly shows that if in the future we had a solution other than the two-state solution, we would have the ingredients of long-lasting apartheid," Le Drian said.

He said the "risk of apartheid is high" if Israel continued to act "according to a single-state logic. Even the status quo produces that," Le Drian said.

The 11-day conflict between Hamas and Israel showed the need to revive the Middle East peace process, he added.

"We have to take one step at a time," Le Drian said, expressing satisfaction that US President Joe Biden had affirmed support for a Palestinian state alongside Israel.

Israel's latest offensive against Hamas killed 248 people in the Gaza Strip, including 66 children, and wounded more than 1,900, the Hamas-run Health Ministry said.

Palestinians have called on the International Criminal Court to investigate Israel's "war crimes" in Gaza, the West Bank, and Jerusalem.

In an official letter to the tribunal, they have demanded "accountability for the war crimes and crimes against humanity” by the occupying power infamous for its lawlessness for more than 50 years.

In March the ICC has opened a formal investigation into alleged war crimes in the Palestinian territories after five years of preliminary inquiries. This was before fresh tensions erupted centered on the neighborhood of Sheikh Jarrah in occupied East Jerusalem.

Israel occupied East Jerusalem during the 1967 Arab-Israeli war. It annexed the entire city in 1980 in a move never recognized by the international community.

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