Israel's Binyamin Netanyahu slams Paris peace conference as 'futile'
Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has denounced the international Middle East conference in Paris on 15 January as "futile", confirming his fears that decisions taken there could spark a new UN resolution against Israel.
The premier - who also holds the foreign affairs portfolio - was speaking to an annual meeting of Israeli ambassadors to European countries on Tuesday.
"This is a futile conference, but there are signs that there will be attempts to use decisions that are taken to vote a new UN resolution against Israel," Netanyahu said.
"That's why the main political effort we are currently working on is to avoid a vote for a new resolution at the UN Security Council," he said in televised remarks.
The Paris-organised conference to be attended by some 70 countries - but not by Israeli or Palestinian representatives - is being held to reiterate international support for a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
On 23 December, the Security Council for the first time since 1979 condemned Israeli settlement of occupied Palestinian territory when the United States did not use its veto and abstained in the vote.
Netanyahu rejected the resolution at the time as a "shameful blow against Israel" before lashing out and recalling ambassadors from several nations.
Netanyahu has accused US President Barack Obama's administration of being behind the resolution, which it denies, and vowed to defy it.
Netanyahu said it "reflects a radical shift in US policy towards the Palestinians on final status issues, those issues that we always agreed, the US and Israel, have to be negotiated directly face to face without preconditions".
US and others say continued settlement building is steadily eating away at the possibility of a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Settlements are built on land the Palestinians view as part of their future state, and are seen as illegal under international law.