French President Francois Hollande announced on Thursday what may be the next stage in the growing diplomatic assault on Israel, witnessed in recent European declarations of recognition for the Palestinian Authority (PA) as the "state of Palestine."
Hollande told French media that he wants to host an international conference on the "Israeli-Palestinian conflict," stressing that he feels this is a diplomatic initiative France must lead.
France is set to vote on recognizing "Palestine" on December 2, following on a recent trend in Europe to make unilateral announcements of the sort.
British lawmakers voted overwhelmingly on October 13 in favor of a non-binding motion to "recognize the state of Palestine"; Sweden announced on October 30 it officially recognized the state of "Palestine"; and last week, Spanish lawmakers adopted a motion calling on the government to recognize a Palestinian state.
Denmark is also set to make a similar vote on December 12, and afterwards the PA has said it will push for votes from Austria and Finland.
The European Union (EU) is likewise slated to vote to recognize "Palestine," although it delayed the vote so as to change wording that would grant the PA self-determination.
This is not Hollande's first attempt to "solve" the conflict in Israel; back in September after meeting with Abbas the French president said a "solution to the conflict" would be put to the United Nations (UN) Security Council.
"We will have a resolution, to be presented to the Security Council, that will say very clearly what we expect from the (peace) process and what the solution to the conflict must be," Hollande said in a joint news conference with Abbas, threatening to predetermine the result of negotiations unilaterally.
That UN statehood bid urging the international body to force Israeli withdrawals has been postponed twice, most recently over the Security Council's preoccupation with the Iranian nuclear talks that were extended for a second time beyond their November 24 deadline.
Specifically, the resolution calls for the "full withdrawal of Israel, the occupying power, from all of the Palestinian territory occupied since 1967, including East Jerusalem, as rapidly as possible and to be fully completed within a specified time-frame, not to exceed November 2016."