Saudi Offers Peace to Israel
- PLC members oppose 'refugee' solution in latest Saudi plan
By Yoav Stern, Haaretz Correspondent, and Itim - Jan 26, 2004
Palestinian lawmakers expressed opposition Monday to a section of a
new Saudi-led peace initiative that calls for more than 2 million
Palestinian refugees to be absorbed by other Arab states.
Hatam Abdel Khader, a member of the Palestinian Legislative Council,
was quoted Monday as saying that while logic dictates that Israel
would not allow 5 million Palestinians in its territory, the
Palestinians are not willing to give up on the right of return. He
said any proposed change to this demand would have to be approved by
Abdel Khader also said that Palestinians won't agree to any change
regarding their right of return, unless it is based on United Nations
resolution 194, which holds that refugees should be permitted to
return to their homes "at the earliest practicable date."
According to the initiative, which is being prepared by Arab states,
some 2 million Palestinian refugees would be allowed to return to the
Palestinian state that would be established. More than 2 million
others would be absorbed by other Arab states, and compensated for
the suffering they had endured.
Israel will not be required to absorb any Palestinian refugees.
The Arab countries would open their gates to the refugees on the
condition that their number not exceed 10 percent of the existing
population. Under the deal, Iraq will also accept Palestinian
In addition, the plan also holds that Israel will negotiate a peace
agreement with all the Arab states, not just the Palestinians.
The Kuwaiti newspaper Al-Siyasa reported over the weekend that the
initiative, led by Saudi Arabia, would include "declarations of peace
agreements between all Arab states," which will bring an end to the
conflict between Israel and the Arabs. The states would declare a
normalization in their ties with Israel, including the appointment of
The Arab states will demand that Israel withdraw to its borders prior
to the 1967 Six-Day War, in other words, to leave the West Bank and
Gaza Strip and withdraw from the Golan Heights.
The new Arab initiative, led by Saudi Crown Prince Abdullah, was
presented last week at the U.S. State Department. It would be brought
for approval at a summit of Arab League leaders to be held in Tunisia
Egypt, Jordan, Morocco and probably Qatar are the main supporters of
the plan. The plan is based on a prior peace initiative presented by
Saudi Arabia, and approved in a summit held in Lebanon in 2002.
According to the previous Saudi plan, Arab states would recognize
Israel's right to exist in peace, and would maintain ties with it if
it withdraws to the pre-1967 war lines.
[NOTE: This is a battered wife trying to make a deal with her abusive
husband. She is still hoping that he would love her if she would just
try harder to obey. We can just imagine how seriously Israel is going
to take this new groveling peace initiative. Clearly, Israel will
accept any Arab concessions while rejecting any Arab conditions.]
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