Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, often known as MBS, has told heads of US-based Jewish groups that the Palestinian leadership must accept conditions for peace put forward by the administration of US President Donald Trump, according to a report on Israeli media.
During a closed-door meeting last month in New York with the organisations’ leaders, bin Salman harshly criticised Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, Channel 10 news reported on Sunday, citing an Israeli diplomatic wire and sources.
“In the last several decades the Palestinian leadership has missed one opportunity after the other and rejected all the peace proposals it was given,” bin Salman reportedly said in a report published on Axios website by Barak Ravid, Channel 10’s senior diplomatic correspondent.
“It is about time the Palestinians take the proposals and agree to come to the negotiations table or shut up and stop complaining.”
— Barak Ravid (@BarakRavid) April 29, 2018
Trump recognised Jerusalem as the capital of Israel in December, a move that drew international criticism.
Palestinian leaders see East Jerusalem, which was militarily seized by Israel in 1967 and has been occupied since, as the capital of their future state.
Bin Salman reportedly pressured Abbas to accept the US framework for peace after Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem.
However, the Palestinian leadership has boycotted the White House since Trump’s announcement in December. Abbas said the US was no longer an “honest broker” in peace talks.
Mohammed bin Salman and Trump’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner, reportedly enjoy close relations. Kushner reached out to bin Salman for guidance on the region after Trump appointed him to the administration’s team that would oversee negotiations between Palestinians and Israelis.
While bin Salman criticised Palestinian leadership, he further stated that peace negotiations between Israel and Palestine would need to move forward before Saudi Arabia and other Gulf Arab states would normalise relations with Israel.
Saudi officials have not commented on the reports.