Abbas: Israel should seize Arab peace initiative

Israel should seize the Arab world's peace initiative as a rare opportunity, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas said Thursday. The 2002 plan offers Israel full Arab recognition if it withdraws from all the lands it captured in the 1967 Six-Day War. That includes east Jerusalem, the West Bank, Gaza and the Golan Heights. Abbas also said that Israel could live "in an ocean of peace" if it adopted the plan. Israel said that it likes elements of the initiative but that it cannot be more than a basis for negotiations. Earlier this month, Abbas published Hebrew-language ads in Israeli newspapers to promote the initiative. He said Thursday that the Arab offer "is a rare opportunity and the Israelis should seize it." He spoke after meeting the Italian president.