Israel on Monday formally rejected France’s invitation to take part in a Middle East peace conference in Paris later this year, saying it was a distraction from the goal of direct negotiations with the Palestinians. At a meeting in Jerusalem with Israel’s acting national security adviser and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s diplomatic adviser, French envoy

Pierre Vimont was informed that Israel wanted nothing to do with the effort to revive talks that last broke down in 2014. “(They) told the French envoy in a clear and unequivocal manner 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,” Netanyahu’s office said in a statement. READ MORE