Saudi crown prince says Palestine is not a priority for his country, according to reports from Israeli news channel
Mohammed bin Salman said the Palestinian leadership should accept whatever peace terms are offered by the United States and stop complaining, according to reports based on an Israeli diplomatic cable and Israeli and American sources.
The Saudi crown prince also heavily criticised the Palestinian leadership, including President Mahmoud Abbas and said Palestinian statehood was not a priority for Riyadh, according to the reports by Israel’s Channel 10 news.
It is about time the Palestinians take the proposals… or shut up and stop complaining
– Mohammed bin Salman, as reported by Israeli media
“In the last several decades the Palestinian leadership has missed one opportunity after the other and rejected all the peace proposals it was given,” bin Salman was reported as saying.
“It is about time the Palestinians take the proposals and agree to come to the negotiations table or shut up and stop complaining.”
According to Channel 10, the comments came in a 27 March meeting with heads of Jewish organisations in New York.
Channel 10 cited an Israeli foreign ministry cable sent by a diplomat from the Israeli consulate in New York, as well three sources – Israeli and American – who were briefed about the meeting.
The US president, Donald Trump, has said he is offering Palestinians the “deal of the century”, but diplomats and Trump’s advisers have made it clear that Palestinian approval is not required.
Trump also recognised Jerusalem as the capital of Israel in December, a move that drew international criticism.
Bin Salman reportedly pressed Abbas to accept the US framework for peace after Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem, and gave the Palestinian leadership the terms.
However, the Palestinian leadership has boycotted the White House since Trump’s announcement in December.
Abbas said the US was no longer an “honest broker” in peace talks.
“The plan calls for having a Palestinian state with provisional borders on half of West Bank and the Gaza Strip, without Jerusalem, and calls for humanitarian solutions to the refugee issue,” a Palestinian official told Middle East Eye at the time.
“The deal calls for building a new Jerusalem for the Palestinians from the surrounding villages and communities,” he said.
Channel 10 diplomatic correspondent Barak Ravid reported a source briefed on the MBS meeting in New York as saying that some of those in attendance “literally fell off their chairs”.