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French official warns of 'explosion' if no Mideast peace

Published:Sunday | June 21, 2015 | 6:29 AM
French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius speaks during a press conference with Palestinian Foreign Minister Riyad Al-Maliki in the West Bank city of Ramallah, Sunday, June 21, 2015.

JERUSALEM (AP) — France's foreign minister warned Sunday of a coming "explosion" between the Israelis and the Palestinians if a stalemate over peace talks isn't soon resolved.

Laurent Fabius made the comments on a visit to the region as France says it will propose a U.N. Security Council resolution with a framework for negotiations toward resolving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

While Palestinians say they are receptive, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Sunday he'd "fiercely reject" any international demands on the talks.

Palestinian officials and French diplomats say the proposal would call for basing the borders between Israel and a future Palestinian state on the lines that existed before Israel captured the West Bank and east Jerusalem from Jordan in the 1967 Mideast war, as well as the Gaza Strip which Israel withdrew from in 2005.

It also would set a two-year deadline for an agreement.

Israel rejects a return to its pre-1967 lines, saying they are indefensible.

Fabius met Sunday with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.

"The most important thing for us is again to seek peace and security and the necessity to have two states," Fabius said. "Let's take the lessons from the past and try to move forward."

Fabius said he met recently with Egypt's president and Jordan's king and "they both told me the same thing, there is a great concern that if things continue to be frozen like this then an explosion could happen."

Fabius' visit came as police said a Palestinian stabbed an Israeli police officer in Jerusalem's Old City. The officer shot the Palestinian, police said.

On Friday, a Palestinian shot and killed an Israeli hiker in the West Bank.

Netanyahu warned Sunday that attacks against Israelis will continue unless the world takes Israel's security concerns into account.

"In international proposals that are proposed to us, or actually are being imposed on us, there is no real addressing of Israel's security needs or other national interests of ours," he said.