Qatar on Saturday proposed that the Middle East peace process should not be resumed until Israel was "ready," at a meeting of an Arab monitoring committee, the Al-Jazeera satellite channel reported.
DOHA – “We will suspend for the moment the peace process until there is a willing partner” in negotiations from the Israeli side, said Prime Minister Sheikh Hamad bin Jassem al-Thani as he opened the meeting chaired by Qatar.
The meeting was examining the latest developments concerning the Palestinian issue following a proposal from US President Barack Obama to resolve the long-standing dispute.
In a keynote policy speech on May 19, Obama issued a clear call for Israel and the Palestinians to use the borders existing before the 1967 Six Day War as the basis for talks to achieve a negotiated solution to the conflict.
Such a state would include the Gaza Strip, the occupied West Bank and mostly Arab but Israel-annexed east Jerusalem, with some adjustments and land swaps so that Israel can maintain settlement blocs.
Obama also hoped that progress on border security would then allow to move towards a solution on “the future of Jerusalem and the fate of Palestinian refugees.”
The Qatari premier also criticised “US hesitations that led Washington to abandon efforts to make Israel respond favourably to initiatives” for peace.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu rejected Obama’s proposal outright, saying the Jewish state would be “indefensible” if it returned to the borders which existed in 1967, which would not include dozens of settlements.
He also rejected dividing the holy city of Jerusalem. The Palestinians want east Jerusalem as the capital of their future state.
Sheikh Hamad said Netanyahu’s speech “proves that Israel does not want peace.”
Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas warned on Wednesday that unless there was a fresh round of peace negotiations, the Palestinians would head to the UN in September in the hope of being accepted as a full member of the world body.
“Our first choice is negotiations but if there is no progress before September, we will go to the United Nations,” he said a day after Netanyahu outlined his views in a speech to the US Congress.