Saudi crown prince Mohammed bin Salman castigated the Palestinian leadership for rejecting opportunities for peace with Israel for decades, according to an Israeli newspaper.
It reported that at a meeting with Jewish leaders in New York last month, the Saudi prince said the Palestinians should either start accepting peace proposals or “shut up.”
The Times of Israel published the report on Sunday, citing multiple sources as claimed by Israel’s Channel 10 News.
“For the past 40 years, the Palestinian leadership has missed opportunities again and again, and rejected all the offers it was given,” the Saudi leader reportedly said.
“It’s about time that the Palestinians accept the offers, and agree to come to the negotiating table — or they should shut up and stop complaining,” he reportedly went on.
The report, referring to the TV report, said prince Salman also told the US Jewish leaders that “the Palestinian issue is not at the top of the Saudi government’s agenda”.
“There are much more urgent and more important issues to deal with — such as Iran”.
Nonetheless, the report added, the crown prince stressed that there would have to be substantive progress toward an Israeli-Palestinian accord before the Saudis and other Arab states would deepen their relationships with Israel.
“There needs to be significant progress toward an agreement with the Palestinians before it will be possible to advance negotiations between Saudi Arabia and the Arab world and Israel,” he was quoted saying.
The Israeli TV report dated the meeting to 27 March, during the prince’s extensive visit to the US.
The TV report was said to have been based on a cable to the foreign ministry from an Israeli diplomat in the New York consulate.
A number of news reports, including by The New York Times and Reuters, have claimed in recent months that the Saudi crown prince has pressured Palestinian Authority president Mahmoud Abbas to accept a much-anticipated Trump administration peace proposal.