The Times of Israel reports: Jerusalem on Saturday downplayed its initial rejection of a new French initiative to kick-start peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians, saying the disapproval stemmed from France’s ultimatum that it would recognize a Palestinian state if fresh negotiation efforts fail to yield results.
“The response last night was not at all related to the initiative itself,” a spokesman for Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said, adding that he had been replying to “the threat, and [French Foreign Minister Laurent] Fabius’s incentive for the Palestinians to lead to an impasse and thus get it all without negotiations.”
Fabius said Friday that France would shortly try to convene an international conference, with the hope of enabling new Israeli-Palestinian peace talks, but that if this effort reached a dead end, Paris would recognize a Palestinian state. “And what will happen if this last-ditch attempt at reaching a negotiated solution hits a stumbling block?” Fabius said. “In that case, we will have to live up to our responsibilities and recognize a Palestinian state.”
Read more at the Times of Israel