RAMALLAH (Sputnik) — The international community should punish Israel if it tries to disrupt the French initiative on the Israel-Palestine conflict settlement, Palestinian Foreign Minister Riyad Maliki told Sputnik on Monday.
"If Israel decides to stay on the sidelines and try to go against the initiative of a wide range of countries, including the participants of the Quartet, the UN Security Council members, the European countries, the Arab Group… if Israel tries to disrupt it [the initiative], the international community will have to ask the UN Security Council for resolution on that issue or go further, as France promised, to recognize Palestine as state," Maliki said in an interview.
The French capital hosted last week a conference aimed at the resumption of the stalled Israeli-Palestinian negotiations. The conference's participants assessed the situation that involved possible risks for the Israeli-Palestinian concept.
Palestine Insists on Specific Date of Ending Israeli Occupation
Palestinian authorities will be seeking to determine a schedule of the peace negotiations with Israel and the specific timing to end what they consider to be the occupation of their territories, Riyad Maliki told Sputnik.
"Of course, we will not passively observe preparation of the international peace conference at the end of the year. We will cooperate with the Arab countries, France and other states that participated in the Paris meeting; we will insist on the schedule of peace negotiations and date of ending the Israeli occupation. Without the time frame, the conference will have no efficiency and added value," he said.
The foreign minister stressed that Palestine welcomed the multilateral format of the upcoming negotiations, adding that the bilateral negotiations were not effective.
The core of the long-lasting Palestinian-Israeli conflict is essentially a struggle over land. Palestine seeks the recognition of its independent state on the territories of the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, and the Gaza Strip — lands occupied by Israel since the 1967 Six-Day War.
The Israeli government refuses to recognize Palestine as an independent political and diplomatic entity.
Israel has continued to build settlements in occupied territories, prompting condemnation from the United Nations.