Israel: Saudi plan on hold

The Saudi initiative for Israeli-Arab peace is on hold due to the crisis in the Palestinian Authority, the Israeli government believes.

An Israeli Foreign Ministry analysis that was leaked to the press Wednesday postulated that Saudi Arabia, having persuaded the Arab League to offer the Jewish state a comprehensive peace deal in 2002, was withdrawing its support for the idea in protest of continued Western isolation of Hamas.

According to the document, Saudi Arabia fears that unresolved Palestinian infighting since Hamas seized control of the Gaza Strip last month could contribute to the spread of Iranian influence in the Palestinian Authority.

Israel has voiced cautious interest in the Saudi plan, which was reissued in March, though Prime Minister Ehud Olmert’s government has reservations about its call for a return of all territories captured in the 1967 Six-Day War and a for a resolution to the Palestinian refugee problem.

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