DAMASCUS (AFP/Reuters) - Syrian President Bashar al-Assad launched a tirade against Israel on Saturday, branding it the major obstacle to peace in the Middle East and backing the right of resistance to recover occupied land. The Syrian President cast doubt on reaching Middle East peace under what he termed as an extreme Israeli government but did not rule out resuming talks with the Jewish state. He said the current state of Middle East peacemaking had exposed the true nature of this aggressive state. Israeli-Palestinian peace talks and indirect contacts between the Jewish state and Syria have been on ice since Israels massive offensive against the Gaza Strip in December and January. The failure of the peace process is a blatant demonstration that Israel is the major obstacle to peace, Assad said in an address to a ministerial meeting of the Organisation of the Islamic Conference in Damascus. Our experience with Israel during indirect peace negotiations mediated by Turkey is further proof of this. How can a country that has chosen the most extreme government in its history be a partner for peace? he added. Turkey brokered four rounds of indirect talks between the two foes last year, the first such contacts since previous peace negotiations were broken off in 2000 over the fate of the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights. But Syria froze the contacts at the turn of the year when Israel launched its 22-day war on Gaza, controlled since June 2007 by the Islamist Hamas movement whose exiled leader Khaled Meshaal lives in Damascus. The failure of political methods to recover their legitimate rights gives them the right of resistance, he said, referring to Syrians and Palestinians whose land is occupied by Israel. Israel occupied the Golan Heights in the 1967 Arab-Israeli war and annexed the strategic plateau in 1981, moves not recognised by the international community. For decades, Israel was considered a gentle lamb seeking peace in the face of besieging wolves, including the Palestinians, the rightful owners of the land, Assad said. A state built on occupation and the massacre of Palestinians, can it really work for peace? he asked. A state whose successive governments have prevented all solutions and whose current government is one of the most racist, can it be a partner for peace? Assad said peace remained Syrias strategic objective to restore our rights fully, including occupied land, but underscored what he said was the large popular support for the forces of resistance in the region. In his address to the meeting of foreign ministers, OIC Secretary-General Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu spoke about the suffering of the people of the Gaza where he said Israel had committed flagrant war crimes. Ihsanoglu called for those who committed the crimes to be hauled before international justice and said the world should act to force Israel to end its occupation of Arab land. The 57-member OIC represents 1.5 billion Muslims worldwide.