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Macron in favour of recognising Palestinian state 'at useful moment'

By RFI
Europe  REUTERS/Jana Rodenbusch
TUE, 28 MAY 2024 LISTEN
© REUTERS/Jana Rodenbusch

France's President Emmanuel Macron said Tuesday that recognition of a Palestinian state was not a "taboo subject" but that it should take place at a "useful moment".

France's parliament on Tuesday suspended a left-wing lawmaker for two weeks after he held up a Palestinian flag during a heated debate over whether France should recognise Palestinian statehood, as President Emmanuel Macron said such a step should not be based on "emotion".

MP suspended
Sebastien Delogu, a member of parliament for the 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 unacceptable behaviour, and lawmakers voted to suspend Delogu for two weeks and cut his parliamentary allowance by half for two months.

Delogu left the lower chamber making a V-sign for victory, as right-wing and centrist lawmakers inside applauded the sanctions against him. Some deputies exchanged heated words outside the chamber.

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

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, Britain and the United States - have done so.

Macron had said in February that recognising a Palestinian state was no longer "taboo".

'Useful moment'
On Tuesday, speaking during a visit to Germany, he clarified those comments, saying "I am totally prepared to recognise a Palestinian state but this recognition must come at a useful moment".

"I will not do a recognition based on emotion," he said.

But Prime Minister Gabriel Attal dodged a question in the lower house on Tuesday 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.

The war started when Palestinian militant group Hamas attacked southern Israel on October 7, resulting in the deaths of more than 1,170 people, mostly civilians, according to a tally from the French news agency AFP based on Israeli official figures.

Militants also took 252 hostages, 121 of whom remain in Gaza, including 37 the army says are dead.

Israel's retaliatory offensive has killed at least 36,096 people in Gaza, mostly civilians, according to the Hamas-run territory's health ministry.

(with newswires)

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