Jean-Yves Le Drian
Jean-Yves Le Drian Reuters

French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian on Sunday warned of the risk of "long-lasting apartheid" in Israel if Palestinian Arabs fail to obtain their own state, AFP reported.

Le Drian made the remarks in an interview with 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.

"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 claimed that the "risk of apartheid is high" if Israel continued to act "according to a single-state logic" but also if it maintained the status quo.

"Even the status quo produces that," added Le Drian, who said that the 11-day conflict between Hamas and Israel had shown the need to revive the Middle East peace process.

"We have take one step at a time," he said, expressing satisfaction that US President Joe Biden had reiterated support for creating a Palestinian state alongside Israel.

Le Drian is one of the first senior French officials to use the term "apartheid" in reference to Israel.

The Human Rights Watch organization recently released a report alleging that Israel is committing "apartheid" against Palestinian Arabs.

The US voiced disagreement with the report, saying, "It is not the view of this administration that Israel's actions constitute apartheid."

In 2017, the UN Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA) issued a report accusing Israel of being “an apartheid regime that dominates the Palestinian people as a whole.”

PA leaders have consistently claimed that Israel carries out a policy of apartheid against Palestinian Arabs, ignoring the fact that PA chairman Mahmoud Abbas has said that a Palestinian state would be free of Jews.

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