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France Votes to Recognize 'Palestine'

France joins unilateral diplomatic assault on Israel, ahead of push in UN for Israeli withdrawals; Israel responds move 'harms peace.'

Ari Yashar, | updated: 18:45

Paris's Eiffel Tower (illustration)
Paris's Eiffel Tower (illustration)
Flash 90

French lawmakers voted in favor of recognizing the Palestinian Authority (PA) as the "state of Palestine" on Tuesday, following suit with similar votes in the UK, Spain and Sweden attempting to foist a unilateral political agenda on Israel.

The highly symbolic vote in the lower house National Assembly passed with 339 in favor and 151 against, reports AFP.

According to the French lawmakers, the vote was made "as an instrument to gain a definitive resolution of the conflict." French policy will not be impacted by the vote however, although it is likely to further sour ties with Israel.

The Israeli embassy in Paris responded to the vote saying "Israel believes that the vote in the National Assembly...will reduce the possibility of achieving a deal between Israel and the Palestinians."

"Decisions of this nature harden the Palestinian position and send the wrong message to the people and the leaders of the region," added the embassy, saying a solution to the conflict is possible "only with honest and direct talks between the parties and not by unilateral measures taken by one of the parties or by third parties."

Meanwhile Hanan Ashrawi, a senior leader in the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) terror group behind the PA, expressed "gratitude" and said "we call on the French government to translate its parliament's vote into action."

"If members of the international community are serious about the creation of the independent Palestinian state...they must undertake serious and concrete measures to end the occupation and to recognize the State of Palestine," stated Ashrawi.

France is spearheading a UN Security Council resolution for the PA to demand a withdrawal timeline for Israel to be forced out of its Biblical heartland of Judea, Samaria and parts of Jerusalem by November, 2016.

In a likely related move, French President Francois Hollande announced last Thursday his nation would host a global conference on the "Israeli-Palestinian conflict" to find a "solution," saying it was a diplomatic initiative he felt France should lead.

British lawmakers voted overwhelmingly on October 13 in favor of a non-binding motion to "recognize the state of Palestine"; Sweden announced on October 30 it officially recognized the state of "Palestine"; and two weeks ago, Spanish lawmakers adopted a motion calling on the government to recognize a Palestinian state.

Denmark is also set to make a similar vote on December 12, and afterwards the PA has said it will push for votes from Austria and Finland.

Meanwhile PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas, aside from sealing a unity deal with Hamas in April torpedoing peace talks, has been making numerous statements in support of the recent wave of terrorism.

A female Arab terrorist of Abbas's Fatah faction on Monday stabbed a Jew at Gush Etzion Junction in Judea before being shot and critically wounded, in the latest of numerous attacks both called for and praised by Abbas's Fatah and PA.




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