Palestinians condemn Saudi crown prince's recognition of Israel
People in besieged enclave of Gaza on Thursday slammed Mohammad bin Salman for his apparent recognition of Israel.
"Bin Salman represents himself only. We are a people who have to right to return to our homeland and have Jerusalem as the capital of our state," one man told The New Arab .
"These are our rights – whether bin Salman is around or not," he added.
Another young man said: "This is a Zionist statement. The Saudis want to go to war with Iran – a fellow Muslim country – while they leave the Israelis to kill their own people and steal their land. I don't understand his point of view, or if he even has one. I think he is trying to please."
Many Palestinian factions have similarly lashed out at the Saudi prince over his remarks.
Hamas, the Islamist movement that runs the Gaza Strip, said in a statement that it condemned moves in the region to normalise relations with Israel.
"Normalisation with Israeli occupation is an unforgettable crime," the statement said.
The Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine said that bin Salman's comment "revealed the malicious role that the Saudi regime is playing to undermine stability in the Arab world to serve Israeli and US interests."
In an interview with a US magazine published on Monday, the Saudi heir apparent appeared to put the rival land claims of Palestinians and Israel on an equal footing.
"I believe that each people, anywhere, has a right to live in their peaceful nation," the prince told The Atlantic.
"I believe the Palestinians and the Israelis have the right to have their own land," he added.
Saudi Arabia's ruler King Salman has scrambled to counter his son's remarks.
The king on Tuesday reaffirmed "the kingdom's steadfast position toward the Palestinian issue and the legitimate rights of the Palestinian people to an independent state with Jerusalem as its capital," state news agency SPA reported.
He also emphasised the need to advance the peace process in a phone call with US President Donald Trump on Monday night.
The remarks from Prince Mohammad were published just three days after Israeli forces killed 16 Palestinians in one day during a peaceful demonstration along the Israel-Gaza border. The number rose to 17 on Tuesday.
Saudi Arabia and Israel have no formal diplomatic relations, but in the past two years, a series of reports of covert meetings between Israeli and Saudi officials give an impression of a rapprochement between the two states.