french mp
© NICOLAS MESSYASZ/SIPA / SIPA
A session of France's National Assembly was brought to a halt on Tuesday after a lawmaker waved a Palestinian flag during a debate over whether Paris should recognize Palestinian statehood.

Sebastien Delogu, a member of the lower house for La France Insoumise (LFI), was suspended for 15 days and his parliamentary salary was halved for a period of two months. The politician was escorted from the chamber, while other lawmakers applauded him.

The incident occurred while Trade Minister Franck Riester was answering a question from another LFI member, seeking clarity on the French government's position on Palestinian statehood, and calling for economic ties with Israel to be severed.

The flag protest was denounced by National Assembly President Yael Braun-Pivet, who called Delogu's behaviour intolerable.

The French broadcaster BFM TV quoted Delogu as saying he "waved the flag within the largest French institution because... children are being massacred with French weapons."

The dispute in the French parliament occurred on the same day that the Spanish government officially recognised Palestine as an independent state. Norway and Ireland's formal recognition of Palestinian statehood also took effect on Tuesday.

The diplomatic moves taken by the three European states came at a time of intense fighting in Gaza, as Israel continues its ground operation in the border city of Rafah. Over the past few weeks, Israeli authorities have seen a steady decline in Western support, due to the mounting death toll resulting from the IDF offensive.

French President Emmanuel Macron has said a two-state solution must be found to resolve the conflict. However, the head of state said Paris should not recognise Palestinian statehood in an "emotional" context.