Israel said it was struggling to “understand the logic” of a French peace initiative favoured by the Palestinians after Israeli foreign ministry officials met with a French envoy in Jerusalem on Monday. France is lobbying for an international peace conference before May that would outline incentives and give guarantees for Israelis and
Palestinians to resume face-to-face talks before August and try to end a decades-long conflict. Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has welcomed the initiative and the international support it would bring but Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has voiced opposition and has insisted on direct talks between the parties without pre-conditions and prefers less international involvement. Israel’s Foreign Ministry said it had “submitted questions to understand the initiative’s logic” during a meeting between France’s envoy, Pierre Vimont, a former French ambassador to the United States, and Foreign Ministry Director-General, Dore Gold.