French Socialists Eye Parliamentary Vote on Palestinian Recognition

French Socialists Eye Parliamentary Vote on Palestinian Recognition

PARIS (Reuters) – France’s ruling Socialist party wants parliament to recognize a Palestinian state, parliamentary sources said, following similar moves by Sweden and Britain that are meant to overcome an impasse in peacemaking but which have angered Israel.

Palestinians seek statehood in the Israeli-occupied West Bank and blockaded Gaza Strip with East Jerusalem as their capital – lands captured by Israel in a 1967 war, although Israeli soldiers and settlers withdrew from Gaza in 2005.

The latest round of fitful efforts to forge a two-state solution collapsed in April. Palestinians now see little choice but to push unilaterally for statehood and have encouraged international steps to recognise it.

“The (Palestinian) situation is so blocked that most Socialist lawmakers now believe that we must do something and that the existing positions must be shifted,” a French parliamentary source said on Wednesday. “This is a way of doing that.”

A draft text prepared for debate within the Socialist bloc in parliament and seen by Reuters calls on the French government to “use the recognition of a Palestinian state as an instrument to achieve a definitive solution to the conflict”.

France does not classify Palestine as a state, but says it could extend recognition if it believed doing so would help promote peace between the Palestinians and Israel.

Read more at Reuters