Saudi official blasts PA for condemning UAE, Bahrain deals

Former Saudi intelligence chief: Palestinian leadership always bets on the losing side, and that comes at a price.

Elad Benari ,

Netanyahu and Trump with UAE and Bahraini foreign ministers
Netanyahu and Trump with UAE and Bahraini foreign ministers
Official White House Photo by Tia Dufour

Saudi Arabia’s former intelligence chief and ambassador to the United States, Prince Bandar bin Sultan bin Abdulaziz, on Monday slammed the leadership of the Palestinian Authority for criticizing the decision of some Gulf states to normalize ties with Israel.

Speaking in an interview with Saudi-owned Al Arabiya television and quoted on Reuters, the prince labeled the PA’s criticism a “transgression” and “reprehensible discourse.”

“The Palestinian cause is a just cause but its advocates are failures, and the Israeli cause is unjust but its advocates have proven to be successful. That sums up the events of the last 70 or 75 years,” he was quoted as having said.

“There is something that successive Palestinian leadership historically share in common: they always bet on the losing side, and that comes at a price,” he added.

The United Arab Emirates and Bahrain both recently signed historic deals to normalize relations with Israel.

The Palestinian Authority condemned both deals, describing them as "a stab in the back of the Palestinian cause and the Palestinian people.”

Prince Bandar noted the decades-long support of successive Saudi kings to the Palestinian cause and said the Palestinian people should remember that the kingdom has always been there for them to offer help and advice.

“This low level of discourse is not what we expect from officials who seek to gain global support for their cause,” he said, according to Reuters.

While Saudi Arabia has not reached any normalization agreement with Israel, recent reports indicated that the Kingdom was working behind the scenes and urged the UAE and Bahrain to reach their respective deals with the Jewish state.

US President Donald Trump recently told reporters that many more countries are on the way to reaching new peace deals in the Middle East.

Asked at the time if he expected Saudi Arabia to follow suit, Trump said, "I do. I spoke with the king of Saudi Arabia." He added the move would come "at the right time."

The President recently said he expected Saudi Arabia to join the Israel-UAE deal. A senior member of the Saudi royal family later stressed that Saudi Arabia’s price for normalizing relations with Israel is the creation of a sovereign Palestinian state with Jerusalem as its capital.

Saudi King Salman reiterated that position during a recent conversation with Trump, saying there would be no normalization with Israel without Palestinian statehood.



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