Days after PM Netanyahu’s visits with European leaders in Paris and Belgium, French President Emmanuel Macron and Belgian Prime Minister Charles Michel are reportedly advancing an initiative pushing back against US President Donald Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.
According to Channel 10, the proposal, to be presented at a summit of EU leaders on Friday in Brussels, will assert that Jerusalem must serve as a joint capital for both Israel and a future Palestinian state.
Three Israeli officials speaking to Channel 10 on condition of anonymity said assessments are that the proposal will be harsh and critical in tone - and may include a call for Israel to make “gestures” towards the PA so as to advance negotiations.
The officials said that the Foreign Ministry has instructed its diplomatic mission to the EU to attempt to halt the process. Such a proposal would need the support of all 28 EU member states to be accepted.
On Sunday, Macron met with Netanyahu, during which he pressed the Israeli premier to restrict the growth of Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria, and urged him to present goodwill gestures to the Palestinian Authority in a bid to reboot final status negotiations, which have been frozen since 2014.
"It seems to me that freezing settlement building and confidence measures with regard to the Palestinian authority are important acts to start with, which we discussed with Prime Minister Netanyahu," Macron said.
In a press conference with Netanyahu immediately after their meeting, Macron said he had implored Netanyahu to “show courage” in pursuing negotiations with the PA, despite anti-Israel incitement by the PA and recent attacks, including a stabbing attack in Jerusalem on Sunday.
"I urged the prime minister to show courage in his dealings with the Palestinians to get us out of the current dead-end," Macron said.
On Monday, Netanyahu met in Brussels with European leaders, including EU foreign affairs chief Federica Mogherini, who reiterated the EU’s position that it would not recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital in the absences of a final status agreement between Israel and the Palestinian Authority. EU officials, including Mogherini, criticized President Trump’s declaration, warning that it could derail plans to reboot talks between Israel and the PA.