A senior Israeli official is predicting that France's Mideast peace conference will "completely fail," saying Israel prefers a regional process that would include Arab states.

Dore Gold, the director of Israel's Foreign Ministry, says "the only way to make peace" with the Palestinians is through direct negotiations with no preconditions.

Gold spoke to reporters Thursday, a day before the Paris conference begins. Israel has indicated an openness recently to some elements of an Arab peace proposal from 2002, which promised peace and recognition of Israel in exchange for the creation of a Palestinian state. Gold gave no indication of any movement on that proposal.

France hopes its conference will revive the Israeli-Palestinian peace process.

Neither Israel nor the Palestinians are attending, though the Palestinians have welcomed the initiative.