The Saudi Arabian ambassador to the UK wants to make friends with Israel after the war in Gaza, but only if it helps create a country for the Palestinians.
Prince Khalid bin Bandar told the media that a deal was almost finished. The talks between the US and Saudi Arabia were stopped after Hamas attacked Israel on 7 October.
Saudi Arabia still wants to be friends with Israel even though many people were hurt in Gaza. But they won’t do it if it means hurting the Palestinian people.
The ambassador said that the international community is not doing enough to stop the fighting in Gaza and that this is a failure of humanity.
He also said he wants the UK to be fair to Israel and treat it like it treats other countries. “The lack of attention towards Israel is a problem because it hinders peace,” he said.
Saudi Arabia is a leading country in the Arab and Islamic world. Since 1948, it has not officially accepted Israel, and if a deal to make things normal between the two countries happens, it would be a very big moment for Israel.
In late September, the leader of Saudi Arabia said in a TV interview in the US that we are getting closer to an agreement every day.
Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman thinks the Palestinian issue is very important. He said any agreement should make life easier for the Palestinians. But he didn’t say it had to lead to a new Palestinian state.
Palestinian leaders have said they will reject any deal that doesn’t give them a state. But earlier, they were asking for more money and control of land in the West Bank in exchange for working with the US-backed Saudi-Israel process.
Saudi officials wanted the US to stop talking about the attack a few days after it happened. About 1,300 people were killed and 240 others were taken hostage by hundreds of Hamas gunmen from Gaza. They had gone into southern Israeli communities.
The health ministry in Gaza, which is under the control of Hamas, says that over 23,200 people have died during the fighting between Israel and Hamas. Israel started the military campaign to try and get rid of Hamas.
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken spoke to reporters after meeting with Crown Prince Mohammed on Monday. He mentioned that the topic of normalizing relations was discussed during their meeting.
“He wants to keep working on that,” he said. “But first the fighting in Gaza must stop, and there must be a clear way for the Palestinians to have their own state. “
During an interview with the BBC’s Today show, the Saudi ambassador in London said that his country’s leaders are definitely interested in making an agreement.
[A deal] was almost done,that’s for sure. We really wanted Palestine to become an independent state in the end. Prince Khalid said that we still believe in normalizing the situation, but not if it hurts the Palestinian people.
He said, “We were almost back to normal,so we were close to having a Palestinian state. “You can’t have one without the other. They were talking about how things are put in order and managed.
When asked if Saudi Arabia thinks Hamas should be part of the future Palestinian state, Prince Khalid said they need to think about it a lot. Hamas is considered a terrorist group by Israel, the US, UK, and other Western countries.
“If you believe things can get better,then change is possible. ” But when there is a fight, you have to understand that both sides have lost, he said.
“Israel’s current government has a very strong and uncompromising view, which makes it hard to find a solution to the conflict. “
He didn’t say much, but the US criticized two extreme Israeli politicians for suggesting that Palestinians should be moved out of Gaza.
Prince Khalid said that the war in Gaza has caused a lot of people to die and has also led to a big crisis. He also warned that there is a risk that some people may become radical because of the war.
“The high level of violence from both sides,especially from Israel, in the past three months is something I have never seen before,” he said. “The numbers are very bad,really bad. “
“This will make Palestinian people and others around the world feel even more hopeless. “Every one sees human failure in what is happening, because no one has taken action to stop it. Efforts are being made, but they are not sufficient.