French parliament suspends politician for waving Palestinian flag

Parliament speaker Yael Braun-Pivet denounced Sebastien Delogu's actions as unacceptable behaviour

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A left-wing politician was suspended from the French parliament for two weeks on Tuesday after he held up a Palestinian flag during a heated debate over whether France should recognise Palestinian statehood.

Sebastien Delogu, a politician for the radical left France Unbowed (LFI) party from the southern city of Marseille, stood up with the flag during questions to the government.

Parliament speaker Yael Braun-Pivet denounced his actions as unacceptable behaviour, and politicians voted to suspend him for two weeks and cut his parliamentary allowance by half for two months.

Mr Delogu left the lower chamber making a V-sign for victory, as right-wing and centrist politicians inside applauded the sanctions against him.

His suspension came on the day Spain, Ireland and Norway formally recognised Palestinian statehood in a co-ordinated decision that has infuriated Israel.

Their move means 145 out of the 193 UN member states have recognised a Palestinian state.

But no member of the Group of Seven industrial powers – including France, the UK and the US – has done so.

Students stage Gaza war protest at Paris Sorbonne university – in pictures

French President Emmanuel Macron in February said recognising a Palestinian state was no longer “taboo”.

But Prime Minister Gabriel Attal in the lower house on Tuesday dodged a question from another LFI member of parliament about whether France would soon join its European allies in doing so.

The Israel-Gaza war has created tensions in France, which has the largest Jewish community of any country after Israel and the US, as well as Europe's biggest Muslim community.

Updated: May 30, 2024, 7:14 AM