Israel's rejection of Spain Middle East peace proposal proves that Israel is not interested in stability, and only seeks to perpetuate destruction and bloodshed, Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh said Friday. "Israel opposes the peace proposal, and opposes a culture of peace," Haniyeh continued. For a Jerusalem Online video of events click here
Israel dismisses Spanish peace plan
Haniyeh said that some of the aspects of the Spanish plan were "worthy of consideration, but that the Palestinians would respond to the initiative only after it is presented formally, Israel Radio reported.
Spanish Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero announced the plan at a summit in Spain with President Jacques Chirac of France. "Peace between Israel and the Palestinians means to a large extent peace on the international scene," Zapatero told a news conference.
"We cannot remain impassive in the face of the horror that continues to unfold before our eyes," Zapatero said.
Referring to the errant artillery shells in Beit Hanun and Wednesday's fatal rocket attack in Sderot, Zapatero said the violence "has reached a level of deterioration that requires determined, urgent action by the international community."
He said that the peace plan will be presented to an EU summit next month, and that he hoped to win the backing of Britain and Germany.
According to Zapatero, the plan had five elements: an immediate cease-fire; formation by the Palestinians of a national unity government that could gain international recognition; an exchange of prisoners - including the three IDF soldiers whose kidnapping sparked the war in Lebanon and fighting in Gaza this summer; talks between Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas; and an international mission in Gaza to monitor a cease-fire.
Herb Keinon contributed to this report.