France on Monday reiterated an earlier call for a “lasting ceasefire” between Israelis and Palestinians in Gaza and invoked UN Security Council resolution 1860 as “an appropriate framework” to bring a halt to the fighting.
Resolution 1860 was voted to end the Israeli invasion of Gaza in December 2008, when around 1,300 Palestinians, many of them civilians, and several Israelis died in fierce clashes and rocket attacks by Hamas.
“We called, as of Saturday, on the parties to do everything to break the spiral of violence that is as absurd as it is murderous and to respect a lasting truce,” the French Foreign Ministry said.
Palestinians say that as many as 18 people have been killed in Israeli air and artillery strikes in retaliation against rocket firing from Gaza into Israel. No Israeli casualties have been so far reported.
“This situation underlines, in such dramatic circumstances, the urgency of reaching a negotiated solution to the conflict,” Foreign Ministry deputy spokeswoman Christine Fages stated.
The French official declined to answer questions relative to a call from the Arab League to put in place a “no fly” zone to halt air attacks against civilians in Gaza.
The Arab League has put the call to the UN Security Council, which has recently voted a “no fly” zone for Libya to protect Libyan civilians from air attack.