DFM Ayalon: "Just as the UN sanctions are imposed on the Iranian regime and not the civilians, our goal is to isolate Hamas and other extremists and strengthen the moderates in the region"
(Communicated by the Bureau of the Deputy Foreign Minister)
Today (Thursday, 17th June), Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon addressed the Foreign Affairs Committee of the French National Assembly. The Deputy Foreign Minister made opening remarks about the situation in the Middle East and referred to the recent events surrounding the flotilla.
Ayalon first laid out the history of negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians. "If you check the two starting positions in 1993, whereas the Israeli position has consistently evolved and progressed, the Palestinian position has not moved even one inch," Ayalon said.
On Israel’s response to the flotilla, the Deputy Foreign Minister invoked the United Nations Charter on the right of nations to self-defense. "Those that were on the flotilla or supported it want to strengthen the extremists and weaken the moderates in our region," Ayalon told the committee. "The goal of the extremists is to isolate Israel but we must isolate the extremists instead."
Ayalon also called on France and the European Union to designate the IHH as a terrorist entity.
The Deputy Foreign Minister also referred to the upcoming flotillas emanating from Iran and Lebanon. "If there was a mask of humanitarianism on previous flotillas, the mask has been removed completely from these boats which are carrying representatives of Hizbullah and Iran," Ayalon said.
The Deputy Foreign Minister fielded many questions, particularly the possibility of an investigation into the events surrounding the flotilla. "An international committee is an infringement of our sovereignty and an insult to our legal system," Ayalon responded. "No other countries are charged with international investigations."
While many asked about the humanitarian situation in Gaza, Ayalon reminded those present about the Israeli captured soldier who was taken four years ago. "Please consider the situation of our soldier Gilad Shalit," Ayalon said. "He is not allowed Red Cross visits and no letters are being delivered to him. We need to return him immediately to his family."
Ayalon applauded France’s role in the United Nations Resolution to impose further sanctions on Iran. "Just as the international community is trying to impose sanctions and isolate the regime in Iran while considering the humanitarian implications for civilians, we are trying to do exactly the same with Hamas in Gaza," Ayalon told the committee in answer to a question on the humanitarian situation in Gaza.
During the visit to Paris the Deputy Foreign Minister met with senior French officials to discuss bilateral relations, Iran and the situation in the Middle East.