World

EU weighs new methods to coax Israel back to Middle East peace talks, might hit at trade

  • Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu speaks during a ceremony with Israeli President Reuven Rivlin, in Jerusalem, Wednesday, March 25, 2015.  Netanyahu struck a conciliatory tone on Wednesday as he was formally tapped to form a new government, vowing to heal rifts in Israeli society and fix ties with the United States following an acrimonious election campaign. (AP Photo/Dan Balilty)

    Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu speaks during a ceremony with Israeli President Reuven Rivlin, in Jerusalem, Wednesday, March 25, 2015. Netanyahu struck a conciliatory tone on Wednesday as he was formally tapped to form a new government, vowing to heal rifts in Israeli society and fix ties with the United States following an acrimonious election campaign. (AP Photo/Dan Balilty)  (The Associated Press)

  • EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Federica Mogherini, speaks during a press conference with Serbian Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic, during her first visit in Belgrade, Serbia, Friday, March 27, 2015. (AP Photo/Darko Vojinovic)

    EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Federica Mogherini, speaks during a press conference with Serbian Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic, during her first visit in Belgrade, Serbia, Friday, March 27, 2015. (AP Photo/Darko Vojinovic)  (The Associated Press)

European Union officials say the EU is assessing new ways to push Israel back to the peace negotiating table with the Palestinians for a deal based on a two-state solution.

The EU is exploring new diplomatic terrain and could consider ways to discourage Europeans from buying products from Israeli settlements it considers illegal.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's election rhetoric has fueled doubts about Israel's commitment to a two-state solution — a cornerstone of EU and U.S. policies for ending the Middle East conflict. An EU diplomat said the Israeli premier's remarks could amount to "a fundamental breach" of policy.