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French Foreign Minister Stephane Sejourne. (Photo: European Parliament, via Wikimedia Commons)

While French Foreign Minister Stephane Sejourne floated the idea of more sanctions, he balked at the idea of recognizing Palestinian statehood.

Putting pressure on illegal Jewish settlers in the occupied West Bank might be a way to get humanitarian aid into Gaza, French Foreign Minister Stephane Sejourne suggested on Tuesday.

The UN has warned that many of the enclave’s 2.3 million Palestinians face starvation, after six months of Israel’s genocidal war there. 

“There must be levers of influence and there are multiple levers, going up to sanctions, to let humanitarian aid cross check points,” Sejourne told RFI radio and France 24 television. 

“France was one of the first countries to propose EU sanctions on Israeli settlers who are committing acts of violence in the West Bank,” he added. “We will continue, if needed, to obtain the opening of humanitarian aid.”

Paris sanctioned 28 Israeli nationals in February, though the French government has not publicized their names. 

On Friday, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu agreed to allow humanitarian aid deliveries through the Beit Hanoun, Erez checkpoint, which had been closed since the start of the war.  

However, Netanyahu insisted that the measure would be “temporary” and would only allow enough aid in “to prevent a humanitarian crisis.” Meanwhile, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres condemned “scattered measures” and called for a “paradigm shift” in aiding the enclave.

While Sejourne floated the idea of more sanctions, he balked at the idea of recognizing Palestinian statehood, saying it “would not be useful to do so outside of a peace process.” Netanyahu has rejected any Palestinian statehood, arguing it would be a “reward for terrorism.”

Earlier on Tuesday, French President Emmanuel Macron published a joint statement with King Abdullah II of Jordan and Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, calling for a ceasefire in Gaza. The three leaders denounced Israel’s planned attack on the city of Rafah and urged “a massive increase in the provision and distribution of humanitarian aid” to Gaza, where famine is “already setting in.”

Currently on trial before the International Court of Justice for genocide against Palestinians, Israel has been waging a devastating war on Gaza since October 7. 

According to Gaza’s Ministry of Health, 33,360 Palestinians have been killed, and 75,993 wounded in Israel’s ongoing genocide in Gaza starting on Oct

Moreover, at least 7,000 people are unaccounted for, presumed dead under the rubble of their homes throughout the Strip. 

Palestinian and international organizations say that the majority of those killed and wounded are women and children.

The Israeli war has resulted in an acute famine, mostly in northern Gaza, resulting in the death of many Palestinians, mostly children.  

The Israeli aggression has also resulted in the forceful displacement of nearly two million people from all over the Gaza Strip, with the vast majority of the displaced forced into the densely crowded southern city of Rafah near the border with Egypt – in what has become Palestine’s largest mass exodus since the 1948 Nakba.

Israel says that 1,200 soldiers and civilians were killed during the Al-Aqsa Flood Operation on October 7. Israeli media published reports suggesting that many Israelis were killed on that day by ‘friendly fire’. 

(PC, RT)

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