Saudi Arabia is taking steps to manage the conflict between Israel and Hamas, according to Crown Prince Muhammad Bin Salman (MBS), who spoke with Palestinian President Mahmud Abbas on Tuesday, days after Hamas launched a surprise attack on Tel Aviv.
Saudi media reports that, during their conversation, MBS expressed his solidarity with the Palestinian people and assured Abbas that his country continues “to stand by the Palestinian people to achieve their legitimate rights to a decent life, achieve their hopes and aspirations, and achieve just and lasting peace.”
Over 1,000 people were killed in the occupied land as a result of the surprise attack, which Hamas conducted early on Saturday.
Israel announced an unprecedented embargo of the Gaza Strip in an effort to stop the delivery of food and gasoline to the war-torn Palestinians.
Israel’s foreign ministry said that at least 1,000 Israelis have been killed, while Palestine’s health ministry said that the number of martyrs rose to 687.
The spiralling violence kicked off amid speculation that Saudi Arabia, which has never recognised Israel, would agree to normalise ties as part of a deal in which it would obtain security guarantees from the United States as well as assistance in developing a civilian nuclear programme.
However, MBS told Fox News last month that the Palestinian issue was “very important” for Saudi Arabia, home to the holiest sites in Islam in Mecca and Medina.
“We need to solve that part. We need to ease the life of the Palestinians,” MBS said.
Analysts say any progress towards normalisation has now been dealt a heavy blow by the ongoing fighting.
The 38-year-old has also spoken about the crisis by phone with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi and Jordan’s King Abdullah II, according to Saudi Press Agency.__The Nation