“Putting oil on the fire in Jerusalem is the risk of a third intifada”, warned Friday, May 13, on franceinfo Ofer Bronchtein, president of the International Forum for Peace and former collaborator of Yitzhak Rabin, in charge of mission by Emmanuel Macron for the Israeli-Palestinian rapprochement, while violence broke out during the funeral of the Palestinian-American journalist Shireen Abu Akleh in Jerusalem. The European Union said it was “appalled” by the use of “unnecessary” force by Israeli forces. For Ofer Bronchtein, “this has perverse effects all over the world”. He pleads for “the two-state solution” and calls on Israelis and Palestinians “to return to the negotiating table”. 1/2 Today, EU and likeminded partners attended the funeral of Shireen Abu Akleh in occupied East Jerusalem. Appalled by the violence in the St Joseph Hospital compound and the level of unnecessary force exercised by Israeli police throughout the funeral procession. — EU and Palestinians (@EUpalestinians) May 13, 2022 franceinfo: How did you feel about this violence? Ofer Bronchtein: You can only express sadness, desolation. I don’t know if all the measures have been taken to prevent the violence. We knew that many Palestinians were going to attend this funeral. The Israeli authorities had to take all measures to ensure that this was done calmly. I regret that this was not the case. What is important is that an independent investigation be conducted so that we know the whole truth about the conditions in which Shireen Abu Akleh was killed. I regret that too many journalists are killed in the world. It’s revolting. The international community must take the strongest measures to condemn the murders of journalists, and of course that of Shireen Abu Akleh. Is this symptomatic of the tensions between Palestinians and Israelis? This conflict has gone on for too long. Every week, every month, we see an upsurge in violence. We saw it in Jerusalem. It has already been a month and a half that there has been almost continuous violence. The Israelis and the Palestinians must return to calm, to serenity. It is time for the international community to make a firm, clear commitment to push everyone to come to negotiations, to return to dialogue. This cannot last. It’s very dangerous. Jerusalem is a powder keg. Adding fuel to the fire in Jerusalem is the risk of a third intifada. This has dangerous difficult effects in our streets, here in France, in Paris. This has perverse effects all over the world. We must take radical, firm measures to bring the Israelis and the Palestinians back to the negotiating table. We know what the solution is for peace to settle in the region. It is the two-state solution. It is respect for the security of the State of Israel. It is the return of freedom, of dignity for the Palestinians. We can do it, we must do it. What drastic measures are you talking about? The European taxpayer financed the construction of the Palestinian Authority with more than 20 billion euros, hoping that it was the beginnings of a Palestinian State. We support the Palestinian economy at arm’s length. We have opened the European market to the Israeli economy. Israel is part of all the development programs of the European Union. It is time for the European Union to speak with one voice. This is not the case today. We need to synchronize aid and economic support for the Palestinian Authority. And it must be said, we are ready to be the checkbook of the two-state solution, on one condition, which is that we have the political right to push the Israelis and push the Palestinians to return to the table of negotiations. I am no longer ready, as a European, to pay for the situation to continue to escalate. I am willing to pay for peace to be built.
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