The Israeli government will “examine” a French cease-fire proposal, according to reports.
French foreign minister, Bernard Kouchner, reportedly spoke with Israel’s Defense Minister Ehud Barak Tuesday about a French, “48-hour cease-fire proposal” according to diplomatic sources cited by the French Press Agency, AFP.
Though the French suggestion “did not seem to raise enthusiasm” on the Israeli side, the AFP and other news agencies cited Israeli diplomatic sources which confirmed the Jewish state was looking into the plan Tuesday evening.
French President Nicolas Sarkozy has repeatedly shown an interest in playing a larger negotiating role in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, while the region’s leaders have been supportive of those goals.
Sarkozy’s temporary leadership of the European Union, which ends with the New Year, was thought to help bolster those aims.
However, the E.U.’s call for a cease-fire since Israel began its Gaza operation Saturday, does not appear to have influenced either Hamas or Israeli leaders.