Published on Saturday, October 21, 2000 by Agence France-Presse
Saudi Arabia Urges Arabs To Cut Ties With Israel
CAIRO - Saudi Crown Prince Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz called Saturday for Arab leaders to set up solidarity funds for the Palestinians worth a total of one billion dollars and to cut all ties with Israel.

He proposed setting aside 200 million dollars for families of Palestinians killed in clashes with Israel and the other 800 million dollars for development projects in the Palestinian territories.

Saudi Arabia would contribute 250 million dollars to the two funds, said the crown prince, representing the ailing King Fahd at a Cairo summit.

Also, the king would "look after 1,000 families of martyrs of the intifada", he said, referring to those killed in clashes with Israeli forces in the three-week-old Palestinian uprising.

The projected fund would "enable the preservation of the Arab character of Jerusalem", Prince Abdullah said in a speech at the opening of the two-day summit in the Egyptian capital.

"Faced with Israeli intransigence and the failure of the international community to apply a break (on Israel), it is normal that we should break all relations with the Jewish state and cut any type of relation set up in favour of the peace process," the crown prince said.

"It is necessary to link any resumption of such relations to real progress, not only on the Palestinian track but on all the tracks" of the Israel-Arab peace process.

He attributed the collapse of the process to the United States, a rare criticism of Washington by one of its closest Arab allies in the region.

"The United States, sponsors of the peace process, assume particular responsibility in the collapse of the peace process ... The sponsor is supposed to hold to account those responsible for such a collapse," he added, referring to Israel.

"After the positive spirit and commitment of the Arab side to the peace process, we expected the Israeli side to be dissuaded from or at least reprimanded for its stubbornness and practices contrary to the principles laid out in the Madrid conference and in the agreements reached with the Palestinians," Prince Abdullah said.

The US-brokered peace process was launched at a 1991 conference in the Spanish capital.

Copyright 2000 AFP