Mohammed Bin Salman, Saudi Arabia’s crowned prince, said Palestinians should accept the peace conditions imposed by U.S. President Donald Trump or “shut up and stop complaining,” during a meeting with heads of Jewish organizations in New York.
The meeting took place on March 27, just days before the Israeli military killed at least 16 Palestinians during the first Land Day protest near the Gaza-Israel border.
“In the last several decades the Palestinian leadership has missed one opportunity after the other and rejected all the peace proposals it was given. It is about time the Palestinians take the proposals and agree to come to the negotiations table or shut up and stop complaining,” said bin Salman, according to a report published on Axios by Barak Ravid, a correspondent for Israel’s Channel 10 news.
“People literally fell off their chairs,” when they heard bin Salman’s comments on Palestine, a source told Ravid.
The will-be-king of Saudi Arabia apparently harshly criticized Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas (also known as Abu Mazen), according to a cable sent to the Israeli foreign ministry by an Israeli diplomat in New York.
According to Ravid, bin Salman said Saudi Arabia had “much more urgent and important issues to deal with” than supporting the Palestinian cause, like facing Iran’s supposed increasing influence on the region.
The U.S. has long-time brokered peace negotiations between Israelis and Palestinians with little success. Now, the new conditions imposed by Trump, including his decision to move the U.S. embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, has sparked outrage among Palestinians, whose government has boycotted White House representatives since then.
As relations between the U.S., Israel and Saudi Arabia get closer, Palestinians seem to have less faith in a solution sponsored by the Saudis or most of the other Arab countries, which rely on political and economic support from Riyadh.
For years rumors suggested that Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates and Israel have under the table dealings in military and intelligence, and the latest comments by bin Salman and other Arab Gulf leaders over the past few months show that such rumors might not be far-fetched.
Abbas said the U.S. wasn’t an “honest broker” anymore after Trump announced he would move the embassy and it was revealed then that bin Salman had pressured him to accept his peace route sheet which proposes Abu Dis, a small suburb outside Jerusalem, as the Palestinian capital instead of at least the eastern part of the city itself, a claim recognized by most countries in the international community.
Top Photo | Palestinian protesters beat a representation of an Israeli flag with pictures of U.S. President Donald Trump and Saudi crown prince Mohammed bin Salman during clashes with Israeli troops along Gaza’s border with Israel, April 13, 2018. Thousands of Palestinians staged a mass protest along Gaza’s sealed border with Israel, some burning Israeli flags, and Israeli soldiers fired tear gas and live bullets from across the border fence. (AP/Adel Hana)