Newsmax: Doha, Qatar — The Arab League Tuesday 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.
Arabs say that Israeli settlement-building on land captured in the 1967 Middle East war, including Arab east Jerusalem, has made a two-state solution backed by the United States unfeasible.
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas welcomed the fund to help protect the Arab character of the city and urged Arab states to contribute to it.
“The Israeli occupation is working in a systematic and hurried way to Judaize east Jerusalem, change its features and uproot its Palestinian inhabitants, attacking the al-Aqsa Mosque and its Muslim and Christian holy sites,” Abbas said in a speech at the summit.
Israeli Foreign Ministry spokesman Yigal Palmor said the initiative was “a badge of shame” for Qatar.
“Objecting to ‘Judaization of Jerusalem,’ so to speak, is absurd and is equatable to an objection to the Catholic nature of the Vatican or the Islamization of Mecca, it is naturally unthinkable,” Palmor said.
The fate of Jerusalem has proved one of the thorniest sticking points in past Middle East peace negotiations.
Citing Jewish biblical ties to the holy city, Israel annexed the Arab eastern half and its surroundings in 1980 in a move rejected by the U.N. Security Council.