Two Arab Israelis in Saudi trial for alleged plot to attack hajj

Glen Norman
May 1, 2018

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman reportedly has a message for Palestinian leadership: "agree to come to the negotiations table or shut up and stop complaining".

"In the last several decades the Palestinian leadership has missed one opportunity after the other and rejected all the peace proposals it was given", the crown prince said, according to a Channel 10 News report citing Israeli and American sources briefed about the meeting. "It is about time the Palestinians take the proposals and agree to come to the negotiations table or shut up and stop complaining", he reportedly said.

Channel 10 cited an Israeli foreign ministry cable sent by a diplomat from the Israeli consulate in NY, as well three sources - Israeli and American - who were briefed about the meeting. "People literally fell off their chairs" after the crown prince made the reported remarks, a source told Channel 10 News.

Responding to a question about the two state solutions, Pompeo did not chose to clearly support Washington's earlier position: proposing Israel and Palestinian side by side, instead, he said, "The parties will ultimately make the decision about what the right resolution is".

According to Ravid, bin Salman said Saudi Arabia had "much more urgent and important issues to deal with" than supporting the Palestinian cause, like facing Iran's supposed increasing influence on the region.

The meeting took place on March 27, just days before the Israeli military killed at least 16 Palestinians during the first Land Day protest near the Gaza-Israel border.

Last month, Saudi Arabia opened its air space for the first time to a commercial flight to Israel, a move hailed by an Israeli official as historic following two years of efforts. Last September, the General Authority for Entertainment - the body tasked with driving growth in the entertainment sector - announced a US$2.7 billion fund with which it hopes to attract worldwide partners, and said in February Saudi Arabia will host 5,000 shows in 2018, including "some of the biggest names in global music".

The project will be built in Qiddiya area, some 40 km west of Saudi Arabia's capital Riyadh.

The project is part of a sweeping reform and investment programme dubbed "Vision 2030", the brainchild of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, who also attended the launch ceremony at the site on Saturday evening.

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