Israel Rejects French Threat to Recognize ‘State of Palestine’
Israel said it refuses to negotiate under ultimatum in response to France’s threat, despite the wave of Palestinian terror, to recognize the “state of Palestine.”
France will recognize a Palestinian state if its efforts to revive Israeli-Palestinian peace talks at an international conference fail, Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius said Friday.
He told French diplomats that the conference will aim to bring together the two parties and their American, European and Arab partners in order “to make happen a two-state solution.”
If this attempt faces a deadlock, Fabius said, France will have to recognize a Palestinian state.
“This is not how one conducts negotiations and not how one makes peace,” the Israeli Prime Minister’s Office stated,Ha’aretz reported. Many in government circles say this latest ultimatum to Israel encourages the Palestinian Authority (PA) to be unbending in its demands, according to unnamed sources.
The French threat to Israel was made amidst a wave of Palestinian terror against Jews in Israel, in which 29 victims have been killed and close to 300 wounded – 25 seriously.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has repeatedly invited PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas to resume negotiations, but to no avail. Instead, he has been making unilateral moves to force a solution upon Israel, and his government has been inciting terror.
Fabius’ announcement comes as the Palestinians, buoyed by the Iran nuclear deal and the start of U.N.-mediated talks on Syria, have been exploring steps that could lead to a two-state solution without direct negotiations, including an international conference and a Security Council resolution that would demand an end to construction of homes in Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria, or what they call “illegal Israeli settlement building.”
“Israel will not negotiate under threat,” Energy Minister Yuval Steinitz stated on Saturday.
Riyad Mansour, the Palestinian U.N. ambassador, told AP: “The Palestinian leadership does welcome the announcement of foreign minister Fabius today in Paris in connection with the convening of an international conference in the next few weeks, and if things fail the recognition of the state of Palestine by France.”
“I think the objective of this conference … has to be to open the process that would lead to the end of the occupation and the preservation of the two-state solution,” he said.
As for recognition, Mansour said, “France promised us some time ago that if there is no opening for a meaningful political process — a collective process that would lead to the end of occupation and independence of the state of Palestine and therefore saving the two-state solution soon — then they will recognize the state of Palestine.”
He said the Palestinians wanted recognition from France “some time ago,” noting that the French parliament has unanimously recommended recognizing the “state of Palestine.”
“And we hope that they do that,” Mansour said. “If they are tying it to the political process, that is their
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