Riyadh/Gaza: Former Saudi Intelligence Chief, Prince Bandar bin Sultan bin Abdulaziz, made vitriolic criticism, ‘In the last 70 years, the Palestinian leaders have wasted multiple opportunities to negotiate with Israel. During this period, the Palestinian leaders accepted large aid from Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Egypt and other Arab countries. But now, these same leaders are making allegations against the Arab countries at the behest of Iran and Turkey. Allegations made by these Palestinian leaders, who have failed in respect of Palestine, will not be tolerated.’ Mixed reactions are emanating from the Arab countries on the criticism made by Prince Bandar.
Prince Bandar Bin Sultan, Former Saudi Ambassador to the United States, former Chief of Saudi Intelligence and a well-known, influential member of the Saudi Royal family, gave an interview to an Arabic news channel a few days ago. The details of the interview were published in stages, and Prince Bandar has attacked the Palestinian leaders in the interview. The fight for Palestine is completely justified. But Prince Bandar alleged that the Palestinian leaders have always been a failure in this struggle. Prince Bandar made a crushing allegation, ‘Over the last 70 years, Saudi has provided financial and political support to the Palestinian struggle. But the Palestinian leaders accepted the aid but ignored the political assistance and advice given by Saudi.’
Prince Bandar castigated the Palestinian leaders saying, ‘The Palestinian issue could have been resolved at the time of the division proposal in 1948 and Camp David Agreement in 1979. But the Palestinian leaders refused to hold talks with Israel, making it easy for Israel to build settlements in the West Bank.’ Prince Bandar also said that former Palestinian leader, Yasir Arafat, did not have the courage to accept the Camp David Agreement. At the same time, Prince Bandar said that the Palestinians acted, overstepping the limits and these could not be justified. Yet Saudi, without going against any of the Palestinian groups, supported them on the international level. The Saudi Prince seems to have expressed resentment over the activities of the terrorist organisations of Palestine like Hamas, Islamic Jihad and others.
Prince Bandar also attacked the acrid reactions given by the Palestinian leaders regarding the Abraham agreement signed nearly a months ago between Israel and the United Arab Emirates (UAE). The Palestinian organisations took to the streets and burnt photographs of UAE Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Zayed, opposing the agreement. The Palestinian leaders accused UAE of backstabbing them. Prince Bandar pointed out that the use of such a low-level language is not expected from the leaders of the Palestinian, who are seeking international support for their struggle.
Palestine leaders have taken the support of the Arab countries for granted. The Palestinians, taking all the help from the Arab countries, have aligned with Iran and Turkey, who are threatening the Arab countries. Prince Bandar issued a stern warning saying that the Palestinian leaders should not be under the impression that they could make derogatory statements regarding Saudi, the Saudi leadership and other Arab countries and still get away. There is criticism in subdued tones from Palestine over the comments made by Prince Bandar. Ismail Haniya, the leader of Hamas from the Gaza Strip threatened, without naming Saudi, that the Arab countries betraying the Palestinian struggle will not be pardoned. Whereas, the Fatah leaders from the West Bank have criticised that Prince Bandar’s statements are a vindication of the agreements signed between UAE and Bahrain with Israel.