Saudi prince blasts out at Israel during Bahrain summit (VIDEO)

05:54 PM | 7 Dec, 2020
Saudi prince blasts out at Israel during Bahrain summit (VIDEO)

MANAMA – Prince Turki al-Faisal, a prominent figure of the royal family, severely criticised Israel on Sunday at a security summit in Bahrain that was attended online by Israel’s foreign minister Gabi Ashkenazi.

The 75-year-old prince, who led Saudi intelligence for more than two decades and served as ambassador to the United States and Britain, described Israel as a “Western colonising” power.

 He said Israel has “incarcerated (Palestinians) in concentration camps under the flimsiest of security accusations — young and old, women and men, who are rotting there without recourse to justice. They are demolishing homes as they wish and they assassinate whomever they want.”

Although Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman has signalled a greater willingness to quietly engage with Israel to counter common rival, Iran, and boost foreign investment in the Gulf kingdom.

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Saudi Arabia has insisted that any normalisation between it and Israel can only happen alongside a lasting peace deal involving a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Israeli Foreign Minister Gabi Ashkenazi, who spoke immediately after Prince Turki, said: “I don’t believe that they reflect the spirit and the changes taking place in the Middle East.”

"The false accusations of the Saudi representative at the Manama Conference do not reflect the facts or the spirit & changes the region is undergoing," Ashkenazi said in a tweet.

"I rejected his remarks & emphasised that the 'blame game' era is over. We are at the dawn of a new era. An era of peace," he added.

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