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Hamas, PLO decry former Saudi intelligence chief’s latest remarks against Palestinians

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
Former Saudi intelligence chief, Prince Bandar bin Sultan bin Abdulaziz (File photo)

The Islamic Resistance Movement, Hamas, and the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) have censured latest comments by Saudi Arabia's former intelligence chief and ambassador to the United States, Prince Bandar bin Sultan bin Abdulaziz against Palestinians and their cause.

Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri, in a brief statement released on Thursday, slammed the Saudi prince’s remarks during an interview with Saudi-owned al-Arabiya television news network aired earlier this week as “regrettable.”

Abu Zuhri underlined that such comments “only serve the Occupation (Israeli) regime.”

Separately, Saeb Erekat, Secretary General of the Executive Committee of the PLO, said in a post published on his official Twitter page that “Whoever among Arabs that wants to present their credentials to Washington or elsewhere, or wants to pave the way for normalization with Israel, can do so without defaming Palestinian people and their legendary struggle.”

Bin Sultan told al-Arabiya TV that Palestinians took the Riyadh regime’s support for granted, slamming the Palestinian leadership for criticizing the decisions of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Bahrain to normalize relations with Israel.

Israel and the UAE agreed to a US-brokered deal to normalize relations on August 13. Under the agreement, the Tel Aviv regime has supposedly agreed to "temporarily" suspend applying its own rule to further areas in the occupied West Bank and the strategic Jordan Valley that Netanyahu had pledged to annex.

While Emirati officials have described the normalization deal with the Tel Aviv regime as a successful means to stave off annexation and save the so-called two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Israeli leaders have lined up to reject the bluff of Abu Dhabi's crown prince and de facto ruler of the UAE, Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, that Israel's annexation plans were off the table.

Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu has underlined that annexation is not off the table, but has simply been delayed.

The former Saudi spy chief then harshly criticized the Palestinian leadership for what he deemed to be repeated missed opportunities to reach an accord with the Israeli regime, and for taking Saudi aid while ignoring the Riyadh regime’s political agenda.

Bin Sultan also accused the Palestinian leadership of aligning itself with Iran and Turkey against the conservative Persian Gulf monarchies.

Relations between the Palestinians and Persian Gulf kingdoms have been declining for years.

The Palestinian Authority has not received aid from the UAE since 2014, while Saudi Arabia began aggressively jailing and prosecuting Hamas members in 2017.

Experts and pundits believe Saudi Arabia has started shifting the public discourse on Israel, and bin Sultan’s statements are in line with warming ties between the kingdom and the Tel Aviv regime.

Netanyahu signed the deals with the Emirati Foreign Minister Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan and Bahrain's Foreign Minister Abdullatif Al Zayani during an official ceremony hosted by President Donald Trump on September 15.

Palestinians, who seek an independent state in the occupied West Bank and Gaza, with East Jerusalem as its capital, view the deals as betrayal of their cause.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas protested the normalization deals with Israel, saying they will be fruitless as long as the United States and the Israeli regime do not recognize the rights of the Palestinian nation and refuse to resolve the issue of Palestinian refugees.

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