The Palestinians reportedly accepted France’s invitation for peace talks later this month on the sidelines of an international summit; Israel has yet to respond.
French President Francois Hollande invited Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas for direct talks this month on the sidelines of an international peace conference set for December 21.
Abbas has accepted, while the Israelis have yet to respond to the invitation.
The French diplomatic initiative entails indirect negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians, at least in the beginning, with international arbitration, including a resolution to pressure Israel into concessions that Jerusalem believes could hinder its security.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has repeatedly rejected the French initiative, saying that such moves allow the Palestinians to avoid direct negotiations, thereby making peace more remote.
It would be “an incentive for the Palestinians to come and not compromise,” Netanyahu had warned.
France hosted an international meeting in Paris in June, attended by more than two dozen Western and Arab countries, in search of a new strategy for Mideast peace and to revive Israeli-Palestinian negotiations, which have been dead for over two years. The Israeli and Palestinian leaders were not invited to the conference, which ended with only vague statements.
By: Aryeh Savir, World Israel News