Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu refused France’s proposal to meet with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas the day following an international conference set to be held in Paris regarding the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Netanyahu clarified with France that he would be willing to meet with Abbas on another date, as it would be inappropriate to meet the day after the conference.

Judith Abramson

This morning (Wednesday), France officially invited Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to a meeting with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas the day following an international conference set to be held in Paris regarding the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Netanyahu declined France’s offer claiming that he is not interested in receiving international impositions.

Netanyahu has previously refused to participate in the international conference planned for December 21 in Paris asserting that the conference would attempt to replace direct negotiations with Abbas. He also noted several times over the past few months that he would be prepared to meet with Abbas at any time and any place without preconditions.

A senior-level Israeli government official stated that Netanyahu would be willing to meet with Abbas on a different date. “A meeting the day following the international conference is a trap,” said a senior-level Israeli government official. “The meeting will focus on the conference’s international impositions. Therefore, this is a political exercise that Israel is not willing to accept.” However, the senior-level Israeli government official noted that Netanyahu is prepared to meet with Abbas and offered to meet with him a week before the conference.

Jerusalem Online