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Hotovely: Paris conference will distance peace

Deputy Foreign Minister reiterates Israel’s objection to the Paris peace conference, likens it to "a wedding without a bride and groom".

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Nitsan Keidar,

Hotovely addresses foreign journalists
Hotovely addresses foreign journalists
MK Hotovely's spokesperson

Deputy Foreign Minister Tzipi Hotovely (Likud) on Wednesday reiterated Israel’s objection to the upcoming Paris peace conference, which is scheduled for Sunday.

The Paris conference is part of France’s initiative to relaunch the Israel-Palestinian Authority (PA) peace talks which have been stalled since 2014. Sunday’s conference will be attended by representatives of 70 countries, including Secretary of State John Kerry, but will not include Israeli or PA representatives.

"The Paris conference is like a wedding without a bride and groom. Peace between the parties will be achieved only through direct negotiations and not by external coercion," Hotovely told members of the foreign press in a news briefing.

"The Paris conference does not bring us closer to peace, but rather distances us from it. Israel achieved peace agreements with Egypt and Jordan through direct negotiations," she stressed.

"Palestinian culture is based on hatred and we see it in the textbooks of the younger generation. If the international community wants to promote peace, it first and foremost must send a clear message that education to hatred and terror is the obstacle to peace and not the settlements,” continued Hotovely.

“Jewish inhabitance of Judea and Samaria has deep and ancient roots. None of the agreements stipulated that Israel must stop building there. The focus on the settlements is morally wrong. Israel builds out of a veneration of the value of life and creation. The Palestinians, by contrast, venerate death and destruction,” she said.

Hotovely also discussed the issue of the United States Embassy moving from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, which President-elect Donald Trump vowed to do during his election campaign.

"Israel sees it as a natural step to move the embassy to its capital and welcomes all countries to act in a similar fashion," she told the foreign journalists.