Valls says Israel ‘must show some faith’ in French peace initiative
French Prime Minister Manuel Valls on Saturday said that “Netanyahu must show some faith” in a peace bid being pushed by France, after the Israeli Prime Minister rejected the initiative in favor of direct negotiations with the Palestinians.
Valls is set to arrive in Israel on Saturday evening for a four day visit to the region aimed at advancing the French initiative and an international peace conference in Paris scheduled for June 3.
Speaking to Israel’s Channel 2 news, Valls expressed doubt that Netanyahu’s call for direct negotiations without preconditions was feasible.
“Direct dialogue today [between Israelis and Palestinians] is very difficult, settlements continue to be built, tensions continue to rise and so the world community must play a role,” Valls said.
Following a meeting with French foreign Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault on Sunday, Netanyahu said that “the scandalous resolution accepted at UNESCO with France’s support…casts a shadow over the impartiality of the entire forum France is trying to convene.”
Netanyahu was referring to the Paris-based UN cultural body’s adopting of a resolution on “Occupied Palestine” in mid-April, which denies Jewish ties to Jerusalem’s Temple Mount and refers several times to Israel as the “occupying power”.
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