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Israel Rejects French Ultimatum on Palestinian State


JERUSALEM, Israel -- Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu criticized a French proposal to host an international conference to solve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

France said if the conference failed, they would unilaterally recognize a Palestinian state. Netanyahu said given those conditions, the Palestinians would have every reason not to compromise.

Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat welcomed the French proposal.

"We welcome the French initiative of convening an international conference on the basis of the relevant international resolutions, U.N. Security Council General Assembly resolutions, within a specified time frame and a follow-up mechanism within a new context to ensure the end of the Israeli occupation that began in 1967 and the establishment of a Palestinian state on the 1967 lines, with East Jerusalem as its capital," Erekat said.

Netanyahu said the proposal gives the Palestinian Authority "an incentive to come and not make concessions."

"The essence of negotiations is making concessions and the French initiative, as has been reported, gives the Palestinians cause not to do that. I assume there will be a sobering of view on this subject. Either way we will act so there will be more sober views here. Our position is very clear. We are prepared to enter direct negotiations with no pre-conditions and without conditions that are dictated," Netanyahu said.

Meanwhile, terrorism continued over the weekend.

A 34-year-old Palestinian policeman opened fire at Israeli troops at a military checkpoint on Sunday. He wounded three soldiers, two seriously, before troops at the scene of the attack shot and killed him. Just hours earlier, he posted a reference to his intentions on Facebook.

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