Jan 24, 2021
JERUSALEM WEATHER

Hamas on Monday lambasted the Saudis for agreeing to meet with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, calling the move an “insult” to the Palestinian cause.

Senior Hamas official Sami Abu Zuhri, a spokesman for the terrorist group that controls the Gaza Strip, called the meeting in Neom, Saudi Arabia between Netanyahu, Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo “dangerous,” and demanded “clarification” from Riyadh.

Saudi Arabia was the architect of the 2002 Arab peace initiative that sought a resolution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The U.S. has been pushing for the Saudis to be the next Gulf state to reach a peace deal with Israel under the Abraham Accords, but top officials in the kingdom have linked normalizing ties with the Jewish state to a major breakthrough in the talks with Ramallah.

It is unclear whether Netanyahu’s meeting with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed signals a shift in Riyadh’s policy on the issue.

Mossad Director Yossi Cohen was also present at the meeting, which reportedly focused on Jerusalem-Riyadh ties and possible rapprochement between the Gulf power and the Jewish state.

Riyadh has yet to officially comment on the meeting, which was arranged by U.S. Special Representative for Iran Elliott Abrams.

Both U.S. President Donald Trump and Netanyahu have in recent weeks said that additional Arab states were interested in signing peace deals with Israel.

This article first appeared in Israel Hayom.