Peace talks between Israel and Palestine have stalled since a US -brokered negotiation broke down in 2014.
Netanyahu seemed to question that commitment over the weekend in Paris, outlining to reporters his opposition to a ceasefire agreement negotiated among Russia, Jordan and the USA holding in southwestern Syria since July 11. The French president pledged to fight anti-Semitism in France and urged an extensive investigation into a case involving a French Jewish woman, Lucy Sarah Halimi, who was murdered in April by a Parisian Muslim. Netanyahu clarified that he is against the recent Washington-Moscow deal, which is supposed to distance Iran 20 kilometers from the Israeli border, because it preserves the Iranian presence in Syria.
The premier's comments Sunday were his first remarks explicitly condemning the ceasefire, after having gingerly endorsed the deal as it came into effect earlier this month. Part of Macron's goal in bringing Netanyahu to Paris - a major part, I believe - was to gain credibility with Israel towards that end.
Regarding Palestine, Netanyahu told the French president that the source of the conflict is the Palestinian refusal to recognize a national state for the Jewish people and to allow it to live in peace.
Netanyahu and Macron also discussed the strengthening of economic ties between Israel and France as well as fighting radicalism in Syria and in other countries.
"A core goal of USA policy in Syria is to ensure that no vacuum is created which Iran can fill". Their designs extend into southern Syria, Netanyahu asserted.
Barack Obama, then USA president, ordered the seizure of two Russian diplomatic compounds and the expulsion of 35 Russian diplomats in December over what he said was their involvement in hacking the 2016 US presidential election campaign, something Russia flatly denies.
Hezbollah parading its military equipment in Qusayr, Syria, November 2016.
It now transpires that during the conversations held by the US and Russian Federation with Israel over the ceasefire, Israel had expressed many reservations about the security implications of the deal, and the Israelis now feel that their concerns about Iran, Hezbollah and other Shiite militias were swept aside and not addressed. "Israel is aware of Iran's intentions to expand in Syria", Israeli government officials stated. Israel has carried out a number of airstrikes in Syria against suspected shipments of "game-changing" weapons bound for Hezbollah.