AMMAN (AFP) – An independent Jordanian newspaper said on Tuesday it has refused to publish a Palestinian advertisement promoting an Arab peace initiative with Israel because it contains the Jewish state’s flag.
“We refused to publish the paid advertisement because the source, the Palestine Libration Organisation’s negotiations department, refused to remove the Israeli flag,” a senior editor at the Arabic-language Al-Arab Al-Yawm told AFP.
“We also rejected the advertisement because it seeks to promote the idea that Israel accepts the peace initiative, although Israeli officials have rejected the initiative.”
The advertisement shows the flags of all Arab and Muslim countries, in addition to the Israeli Star of David, saying all these states have accepted the Arab peace initiative.
But Palestinian chief negotiator Saeb Erakat said the paper had made no contact the negotiations department about the advertisement.
“Nobody contacted us about the issue and we did not receive any request about removing the Israeli flag,” Erakat told AFP.
The Saudi-sponsored initiative, first proposed in 2002, offers Israel normalisation of relations and comprehensive peace agreements with Arab countries in exchange for the withdrawal of Israeli forces from all the occupied territories.
Israel, which had rejected the peace plan out of hand when it was first adopted but has voiced renewed interest as a basis for talks.
Jordan signed a 1994 peace treaty with Israel, becoming only the second Arab state after Egypt to make peace with the Jewish state.