French MP suspended for waving Palestinian flag during debate

Europe  AFP - Miguel Medina
© AFP - Miguel Medina

French parliament Tuesday suspended a far left MP for two weeks after he held up a Palestinian flag during a heated debate over whether France should recognise a Palestinian state.

Sebastien Delogu, a member of parliament for France Unbowed (LFI) party from the southern city of Marseille, stood up with the flag during questions to the government.

Parliament speaker Yael Braun-Pivet denounced what she called his unacceptable behaviour, and lawmakers voted to suspend him for two weeks and cut his parliamentary allowance by half for two months.

Delogu left the National Assembly making a V-sign for victory, as right-wing and centrist lawmakers inside applauded the sanctions against him.

His suspension came on the day Spain, Ireland and Norway formally recognised Palestinian statehood in a coordinated decision that has infuriated Israel.

Controversial recognition of Palestine comes into effect for Norway, Ireland and Spain

Their move brings to 145 out of the 193 UN member states that have recognised a Palestinian state.

But no member of the Group of Seven industrial powers - including France, the United Kingdom and the United States - have done so.

French President Emmanuel Macron in February said recognising a Palestinian state was no longer "taboo".

Macron says recognition of Palestinian state 'not a taboo' for France

But Prime Minister Gabriel Attal in the lower house on Tuesday dodged a question from another LFI member of parliament about whether France would soon join its European allies in doing so.

The latest Gaza war has sparked tensions in France, a country with the largest Jewish community of any country after Israel and the United States, as well as Europe's biggest Muslim community.

(with AFP)