DOHA, Qatar (AP) — As Syrian opposition representatives took the country’s seat for the first time at an Arab League summit that opened in Qatar on Tuesday, the emir of Qatar proposed creating a $1 billion fund for the defense of Jerusalem’s Arab identity.
The emir, Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani, said Qatar would contribute $250 million to the fund, adding that he expects other Arab nations to come up with the rest.
“The Palestinian, Arab and Muslim rights in Jerusalem are not negotiable and Israel must realize this,” said Sheikh Hamad, who presides over a tiny but super-rich nation that is assuming a growing regional role.
At the summit, the emir also proposed a “mini” Arab summit in Egypt to negotiate reconciliation between rival Palestinian factions.
Sheikh Hamad suggested a summit to reconcile between the Western-backed Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas’ Fatah movement that controls the West Bank and the militant Hamas group, which rules the Gaza Strip.
He said the proposed summit would remain in session until an agreement is reached, including a timetable for the creation of a transitional government to oversee legislative and presidential elections.
Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.