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Paris Conference to Discuss Jerusalem, Refugees | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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A partial view of the Israeli settlement of Givat Zeev near the West Bank city of Ramallah pictured on December 28, 2016 ©AHMAD GHARABLI (AFP)

Tel Aviv- Israeli political sources uncovered on Friday that France was planning to suggest during the expected Middle East Peace Conference scheduled in Paris on Jan. 15, a number of principles to settle the big issues stuck in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, such as the issue of Palestinian refugees and the future of the occupied East Jerusalem.

A source at the Israeli government said there are fears that Switzerland presents, during the Security Council meeting, a draft resolution in line with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry’s last speech.

Last Wednesday, Kerry made a final plea to save the two-state solution, warning that disregarding such a solution would lead to an endless Israeli occupation of the Palestinian Territories.

Meanwhile, Israel was comforted that the Obama administration and the British government would both veto any new draft resolution proposed to the Security Council against it.

However, the government of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu rejected the assurances by not ruling out that both countries were duping Tel Aviv, especially after the U.S. last week abstained in a vote over a U.N. Security Council resolution demanding an end to Israeli settlements in Palestinian territory.

Also, during remarks delivered on the Middle East peace in Washington, Kerry said: “The truth is that trends on the ground – violence, terrorism, incitement, settlement expansion and the seemingly endless occupation – they are combining to destroy hopes for peace on both sides.”

On Friday, Obama’s deputy national security adviser Ben Rhodes spoke with the Israeli media by trying to comfort Israel that the Obama administration was committed to not allow further actions censuring Israel at the U.N. and that it will use the veto right.

Meanwhile, British Prime Minister Theresa May criticized Kerry for suggesting that settlements were the main obstacle to peace.