Wednesday, March 27, 2013
Arab League reject call to recognise Israel as Jewish state
The Arab League have rejected Israel's request to recognise it as a Jewish state.
The League approved a Qatari proposal to set up a $1 billion fund for Arab east Jerusalem, which Palestinians want as the capital of an independent state under any peace deal with Israel.
Qatar's emir, Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al-Thani, said his country will contribute $250 million to the fund, which he called for in an opening speech to an Arab summit in Doha that focused on the crisis in Syria, and stalled Israeli-Palestinian peace efforts.
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas welcomed the fund to help protect the Arab character of the city and urged Arab states to contribute to it.
Israeli Foreign Ministry spokesman Yigal Palmor said the initiative was "a badge of shame" for Qatar.
"Objecting to 'Judaisation of Jerusalem', so to speak, is absurd and is equatable to an objection to the Catholic nature of the Vatican or the Islamisation of Mecca, it is naturally unthinkable," Palmor said.