The European Union’s 28 foreign ministers are expected to throw their support behind the French-led Israeli-Palestinian peace initiative on Monday, according to Israeli news outlets.
The EU’s Foreign Affairs Council is set to adopt a resolution that will back the French initiative, calling for an international peace conference including Israeli and Palestinian participation before the end of the year.
Earlier this month the foreign ministers met in Paris to establish a framework for the larger summit, just one day after the director general of Israel’s Foreign Ministry equated the proposed peace process to a form of colonialism.
Since the French initiative began gaining more momentum in recent months, the Israeli government has come out in staunch opposition to the proposed multilateral peace talks.
Netanyahu first rejected the French initiative in April, saying the “best way to resolve the conflict between Israel and Palestinians is through direct, bilateral negotiations,” and instead voiced his support for Egyptian President Abd al-Fatah al-Sisi’s trilateral initiative aiming to bring Israeli and Palestinian leaders face to face and create steps towards the unification of Palestinian political factions.
The Palestinian Authority, however, has expressed support for the French initiative, something Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas reiterated during a phone call with French President Francois Hollande on Saturday.
Abbas stressed his commitment to the two-state solution within the 1967 borders, adding that all illegal settlement activity should be halted, and that there should be a timeframe for negotiations under international monitoring.
All past efforts towards peace negotiations have failed to end the decades-long Israeli military occupation or bring Palestinians closer to an independent contiguous state.
The most recent spate of negotiations led by the US collapsed in April 2014.
Israel claimed the process failed because the Palestinians refused to accept a US framework document outlining the way forward, while Palestinians pointed to Israel’s ongoing settlement building and the government’s refusal to release veteran prisoners.
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