Saudi King: Arab Peace Offer Won't Last Forever

Abdullah: Israel has to understand that the choice between war and peace will not always stay open.

Saudi Arabian King Abdullah warned on Monday that a 2002 Arab initiative offering peace with Israel would not remain on the table forever.

Israel must understand that the choice between war and peace would not always stay open, Abdullah told delegates in Kuwait City at a summit focused on boosting economic growth and development in the Arab world.

The Arab peace initiative was first proposed in 2002. It offers pan-Arab recognition of Israel in exchange for Israel's withdrawal from lands captured in 1967.

Abdullah's warning came after Israel and Hamas separately declared on Sunday a fragile cease-fire in the Gaza Strip following Israel's three-week offensive against the Palestinian Islamist group. More than 1,250 Palestinians and 13 Israelis were killed during the hostilities.

Abdullah also announced at the conference on Monday that his country would donate $1 billion for reconstruction in war-ravaged Gaza.

In October, Defense Minister and Labor Party Chairman Ehud Barak said that Israeli leaders have been discussing pursuing the peace plan.

While outgoing Prime Minister Ehud Olmert has welcomed the initiative, he and other leaders want to keep small parts of the territories captured in the 1967 Six Day War.

Israel also objects to language in the plan that appears to endorse a large-scale return of Palestinian refugees to lands inside Israel. Israel says a massive influx of Palestinians would destroy the country's Jewish character.