Israel rejects French offer to take part in peace conference

They claimed it was a "distraction" to their true aims of direct negotiations with Palestinians

Israel rejects French offer to take part in peace conference

Benjamin Netanyahu pictured in 2009 | Image: UN Photo/Eskinder Debebe

Israel has formally rejected an invitation from France to take part in a Middle East peace conference.

The French authorities were attempting to revive negotiations which broke down in 2014.

At a meeting in Jerusalem, the French envoy Pierre Vimont was informed that Israel had no interest in taking part in the conference.

A statement released by Israeli Prime minister Netanayahu's office read that "Israel's position to promote the peace process and reach an agreement will only come through direct negotiations between Israel and the Palestinian Authority."

According to Reuters, the French have repeatedly attempted to revive peace talks in the region, even bringing together the U.N., the E.U., the U.S. and Arab countries in June to discuss the topic.

Tensions in the region have been high recently as Israel continues to build Jewish settlements in the West Bank.  

Without pressure from the United States, it's unlikely Israel would be willing to enter any negotiations with the Palestinian Authority.  

The United States recently signed a 10-year $38 billion arms aid deal with the country to bolster Israel's security.