Paris suburb to recognize Palestinian statehood

Paris suburb to recognize Palestinian statehood

Gennevilliers mayor says he hopes similar moves by other municipalities will force French government to rethink stance on peace process

A view of the Paris suburb of Gennevilliers. (CC BY-SA 3.0 Smiley.toerist/Wikipedia)
A view of the Paris suburb of Gennevilliers. (CC BY-SA 3.0 Smiley.toerist/Wikipedia)

The city council of a suburb of Paris said it would recognize what it called “the state of Palestine.”

The office of Gennevilliers Mayor Patrice Leclerc, a Communist Party of France politician, announced on Friday the move, which is symbolic and has no bearing on French foreign policy, French newspaper Le Figaro reported.

The so-called recognition will be made in an executive order to be signed Monday at city hall in the northern suburb of Gennevilliers, the statement said.

At least three other municipalities in the Paris region, Stains, Bondy, Vitry-sur-Seine, are preparing to take similar steps, the statement also said. Those municipalities have honored Marwan Barghouti, a Palestinian terrorist and member of the PLO who is serving multiple life sentences in Israel for the murder of Israeli victims of terrorist attacks he helped plan.

“France by the actions of its former foreign minister Laurent Fabius spoke out at the end of 2016 about the possibility of recognizing Palestine in case the peace process hits a dead end. But nothing was done,” Leclerc wrote in the statement. “President Emmanuel Macron refuses to have France follow through but if thousands of localities in France issue this official order this taking up of positions by municipalities will lead to recognition.”

The Le Monde daily reported on Sunday that France is trying to upgrade the Palestinian Authority’s status at the EU, but will stop short of recommending full recognition of a Palestinian state.

At a meeting Monday between Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas and the European Union’s 28 foreign ministers, the French will reportedly push for an EU free trade agreement with the Palestinians, similar to the one signed with Israel.

Times of Israel staff contributed to this report.


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