France pushes Israeli-Palestinian peace, threatens to recognize ‘Palestine’

France has authored a proposal for a final peace deal between Israel and the PA, threatening to unilaterally recognize a Palestinian state if an agreement is not reached by the 18-month deadline.

By: Atara Beck, World Israel News
French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius

French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius (AP/Evan Vucci)

France is moving forward with its initiative to bring the Israeli-Palestinian diplomatic process to a resolution and has shortened the deadline for an agreement from two years to 18 months, Le Figaro reported on Wednesday.

The French are threatening to unilaterally recognize the “State of Palestine” if there is no agreement by the deadline.

French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius reportedly presented the Arab League with a detailed plan that stipulates the formation of a Palestinian state according to the 1967 borders and mutually agreed land swaps, while taking Israel’s security needs into account, including an end to terrorism and arms smuggling. The guidelines also include a full IDF withdrawal from what would become Palestinian territories in stages.

The French are demanding the division of Jerusalem, compensation for Palestinian refugees and Palestinian recognition of Israel as a Jewish state.

Le Figaro reports that the French are seeking what they term a “just, sustainable and global solution” to the conflict.

A French source told Le Figaro that they decided to shorten the time frame for negotiations in light of the escalating violence in Judea and Samaria and with the goal of seeing results before French President Francois Hollande concludes his term in office.

The French stressed that their aim is to achieve a final-status deal rather than merely another interim agreement.

Le Figaro reports that the initiative has been shared unofficially with London and Madrid.

The French peace initiative is not meant for official submission to the UN Security Council before June 30, the deadline for negotiations with Iran on its nuclear program. French sources said the US has asked France to postpone the submission in order not to raise new difficulties in the talks with Iran.

Past Failures

Taking the Obama administration’s increasing frustration with Netanyahu into consideration, reports indicate, the French are counting on the US not to veto their upcoming motion at the UN Security Council (UNSC).

The weight of a Security Council resolution, which is legally binding, would increase international pressure on Israel.

Several initiatives to solve the conflict have been introduced over the years. In January, the Palestinian Authority submitted a resolution to the UNSC to end Israel’s “occupation” of Judea and Samaria by the end of 2017, but it was turned down after the PA failed to garner the required nine votes.

At a joint press conference with EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini on Wednesday, Netanyahu said he was committed to a two-state solution and that his government seeks a final peaceful solution with the Palestinians.