News / Middle East

Hollande: Jerusalem Should Be Capital of Israeli, Palestinian State

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas (R) and his French counterpart Francois Hollande embrace during a joint news conference in the West Bank city of Ramallah, Nov. 18, 2013.
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas (R) and his French counterpart Francois Hollande embrace during a joint news conference in the West Bank city of Ramallah, Nov. 18, 2013.
VOA News
French President Francois Hollande is urging Israel and the Palestinians to finally make peace, saying Jerusalem must be the capital of both Israel and a Palestinian state.

Hollande made the comments while addressing Israel's parliament, the Knesset late Monday, urging both sides to make gestures that could further advance the peace process.

He also sought to reassure Israel about negotiations between world powers and Iran, telling Israeli lawmakers France would never allow Iran to arm itself with nuclear weapons.  

Prior to the French president's speech, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called on Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas to recognize Israel's right to exist as the Jewish state.  Netanyahu also offered to go to Ramallah to speak to the Palestinian people.

Earlier Monday, Hollande called on Israel to stop building settlements in occupied territory, saying the construction complicates ongoing negotiations with the Palestinians.

"France opposes settlements, and we call for the halting of settlements because they complicate negotiations and make the two-state solution difficult," said President Hollande.

Hollande spoke Monday at a joint news conference with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in Ramallah.

Israeli and Palestinian negotiators began a fresh round of peace talks in July, committing to carry out the talks for nine months.  The negotiations are taking place in private, but both sides have signaled that little progress has been made.

Abbas expressed frustration Monday with the slow pace and with the way Israel has engaged in the process, despite releasing some Palestinian prisoners.

"There is a misunderstanding amongst the Israelis that they are releasing prisoners in exchange for settlement activities, and this is not true.  This led the Palestinian negotiating team to submitting their resignation.  We have not yet looked into this resignation, and we have not said if we will agree on it or not.  We have been continuing the negotiations for nine months," said President Abbas.

More than one-half million Israeli settlers now live in the West Bank and East Jerusalem, territories captured by Israel in the 1967 war that Palestinians envision as part of a future independent state.  The international community rejects those settlements as illegal.

Meanwhile, a series of U.N.-backed building projects in the Gaza Strip have come to a halt.

UNRWA media advisor Adnan Abu Hasna told Reuters Television that workers at most have sites have simply run out of material.

"Israel bans construction material for the private sector and the international organizations. Due to this we halted work on 20 building projects. The costs of these projects are $75 million.  These projects include building schools, housing units, clinics and infrastructure inside refugee camps," said Abu Hasna.

Israel imposed a ban on building materials after it discovered a Hamas-built tunnel last month.  Israel alleged militants planned to use the tunnel for attacks inside its territory.

Neighboring Egypt has also closed smuggling tunnels used to take goods between Israel and Gaza.  The United Nations says that move has caused the economic situation in the Gaza Strip, where unemployment is at 30 percent, to worsen.

You May Like

Photogallery Obama Announces Plan to Send 3,000 Troops to Liberia in Ebola Fight

At US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Obama details troop deployment and other pieces of US plan More

China Muslims Work to Change Perceptions After Knife Attacks

Muslims in Kunming say that they condemn the violence, it is not a reflection of the true beliefs of their faith More

Humanitarian Aid, Equipment Blocked in Cameroon

Move is seen as a developing supply crisis in West Africa More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Godwin from: Nigeria
November 19, 2013 9:57 AM
Sometimes it looks like Francois Hollande of France is making a move to hit the nail at the head. He was very close to the truth when he said both Israel and Palestine should have one capital at Jerusalem. Then it will not be two states: imagine capital of Israel is Jerusalem; capital of Palestine is Jerusalem. It's like saying capital of USA is Washington, and capital of Canada is Washington. For that one capital to serve both peoples of Israel and Palestine, there shall be only one state, but run as a confederation. USA and Britain are practicing it and it's working, why not for Israel? Let Hollande stand by his word and push this idea at the UN and UNSc. There is no need for two states sharing one land that originally belonged to Israel.

Hollande sounded ambiguous again talking about occupied territory. How can they have a common capital and not live within each other's neighborhood? In a way Hollande has proposed that both peoples should be one country, then there is no need for boundaries between them. By the time they achieve peace based on Hollande's one capital proposal, nationality issue will become one, hence a common name shall be adopted. The use of tunnels to enter into Israel to work and do business will be stopped. But Israel goofed when it made public the revelation of the tunnels. Through them Israel should have captured and perhaps also destroyed all the bad eggs who make it impossible for peace. They go into Israel to earn a living, but hate to speak peace with Israel or allow others live in peace with, and see, Israel as a peaceful neighbor. They are worse criminals. The land of Israel was thriving with commerce and served as a convergence of international trade and diplomacy. The events at the Pentecost tells us that much.

In Response

by: barney rubble from: world
November 20, 2013 4:43 AM
> the Palestinians don't want to yield to peaceful co-existence
well as I explained Abbas clearly does want peaceful coexistence and its the other way round - with Israelis wiping Palestine off the map in word and deed.
obviously some of Hamas reject Israel's claim to statehood but as you (nearly) say: What is wrong with Hamas and Ahmedinajad expressing their opinion?
very strange there's outrage when Israel's claim to statehood is questioned but not when its Palestine's very existence thats on the line especially when the latter is much more precarious. this isn't about pro or anti Israel - its about justice.


by: BRS_CA from: California, USA
November 18, 2013 5:00 PM
The settlements are not an obstacle to peace. They are the most effective, non-violent tool Israel can use to make peace. After the '67 war, Israel built settlements and towns in the Sinai. It pressured Egypt to make peace before too many Jews moved into the Sinai and it would be too late. When Egypt finally offered peace, Israel gave up the settlements. The settlements helped to pressure Egypt to make peace.

The Arabs do not want to live in peace with Israel. They want no Israel. The Arabs use terror to pressure Israel to give up and leave the Mid-East. Their strategy is to make life in the Mid-East seem impossible for Jews, so they will leave. Israel uses the settlements to pressure the Arabs to make peace before it is too late. The settlements say to the Arabs: "Your violence and terror are not working. We will never leave. While you dedicate your children to die, killing us, we are dedicating our children to build and live in a growing land. The longer you wait to make peace, the stronger we will become and the less chance there will be that we will need to give up land."

Stopping the settlements will eliminate the most effective tool available to persuade the Arabs to make peace.

In Response

by: Godwin from: Nigeria
November 19, 2013 9:31 AM
@barney rubble; What is wrong with Naftali expressing his opinion? In fact many of us out here share thar view. I am going forward to propose that since the Palestinians don't want to yield to peaceful co-existence, Israel should go ahead and push them out of Israeli borders, daring all consequences. The worst outcome may be to lose friendship with USA - which has not really been profitable in the first place

In Response

by: barney rubble from: world
November 19, 2013 4:40 AM
They want no Israel ?
on the contrary Abbas and the PA accept Israel's claim to statehood ...
its the reverse - settlement expansion is wiping Palestine off the map consistent with Israel's policies ..
only tjhis week Naftali Bennet made it clear he'd never accept Palestine's right to exist.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Enviropreneur Seeks to Save the Environment, Empower the Communityi
X
September 16, 2014 2:06 PM
Lorna Rutto, a former banker, is now an ‘enviropreneur’ - turning plastic waste into furniture and fences discusses the challenges she faces in Africa with raw materials and the environment.
Video

Video Enviropreneur Seeks to Save the Environment, Empower the Community

Lorna Rutto, a former banker, is now an ‘enviropreneur’ - turning plastic waste into furniture and fences discusses the challenges she faces in Africa with raw materials and the environment.
Video

Video West Trades Accusations Over Ransoms

As world leaders try to forge a common response to the threat posed by Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria, there is simmering tension over differing policies on paying ransoms. In the past month, the jihadist group has beheaded two Americans and one Briton. Both countries refuse to pay ransom money. As Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London, there is uncertainty in the approach of some other European nations.
Video

Video Scotland Independence Bid Stokes Global Interest

The people of Scotland are preparing to vote on whether to become independent and break away from the rest of Britain, in a referendum being watched carefully in many other countries. Some see it as a risky experiment; while others hope a successful vote for independence might energize their own separatist demands. Foreign immigrants to Scotland have a front row seat for the vote. VOA’s Henry Ridgwell spoke to some of them in Edinburgh.
Video

Video Washington DC Mural Artists Help Beautify City

Like many cities, Washington has a graffiti problem. Buildings and homes, especially in low-income neighborhoods, are often targets of illegal artwork. But as we hear from VOA’s Julie Taboh, officials in the nation's capital have come up with an innovative program that uses the talents of local artists to beautify the city.
Video

Video US Muslim Leaders Condemn Islamic State

Leaders of America's Muslim community are condemning the violent extremism of the Islamic State group in Iraq and Syria. The U.S. Muslim leaders say militants are exploiting their faith in a failed effort to justify violent extremism. VOA correspondent Meredith Buel reports.
Video

Video Americans' Reaction Mixed on Obama Strategy for Islamic State Militants

President Barack Obama’s televised speech on how the United States plans to “degrade and destroy” the group known as the Islamic State reached a prime-time audience of millions. And it came as Americans appear more willing to embrace a bolder, tougher approach to foreign policy. VOA producer Katherine Gypson and reporter Jeff Seldin have this report from Washington.
Video

Video Authorities Allege LA Fashion Industry-Cartel Ties

U.S. officials say they have broken up crime rings that funneled tens of millions of dollars from Mexican drug cartels through fashion businesses in Los Angeles. Mike O'Sullivan reports that authorities announced nine arrests, as 1,000 law enforcement agents fanned out through the city on Wednesday.
Video

Video Bedouin Woman Runs Successful Business in Palestinian City

A Bedouin woman is breaking social taboos by running a successful vacation resort in the Palestinian town of Jericho. Bedouins are a sub-group of Arabs known for their semi-nomadic lifestyle. Zlatica Hoke says the resort in the West Bank's Jordan Valley is a model of success for women in the region.


Carnage and mayhem are part of daily life in northern Nigeria, the result of a terror campaign by the Islamist group Boko Haram. Fears are growing that Nigeria’s government may not know how to counter it, and may be making things worse. More

AppleAndroid