Is the Saudi Initiative good enough?
Point of View | 31
Palestinian Foreign Minister, Mahmoud Zahar said the Government of the PA will discuss whether to accept the Saudi Initiative (Arab Peace Initiative) following the request of the Arab League secretary (Nahamias, Ynet, 4/15/06).
The Re'ut Institute poses the question: Will Israel be satisfied by an acceptance of the Saudi Initiative or will it continue to demand that Hamas formally recognize Israel?
What is the Issue?
The Saudi Initiative was adopted at the Arab Summit in Beirut (March 28, 2002). The initiative called on Arab states to “normalize relations” with Israel in exchange for the establishment of a Palestinian state within June 4, 1967 borders and a just solution to the issue of Palestinian refugees in accordance with UN Resolution 194.
The initiative was welcomed by UN Security Council Resolution 1397 and was mentioned within the framework of the third phase of the Roadmap.
Israel rejected the initiative (3/02). Moreover, among its fourteen reservations to the Roadmap, Israel demanded to remove any reference other than 242 and 338 (i.e. UN Resolution 1397 and the Saudi Initiative).
On several occasions since the Palestinian elections (1/06), Foreign Minister Zahar and senior Hamas leader Khaled Mashal have stated that Hamas might accept the initiative. (A-shark Al-awsat, 2/8; Ha'aretz, 2/13; Ynet, 4/15).