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BREAKING NEWS: Saudi crown prince MBS declares Palestine a top priority for his kingdom

Updated: Jul 4, 2023

Saudi Prince Mohammed bin Salman ice grills U.S. President Joe Biden at the Jeddah Security and Development Summit on July 16, 2022. The prince is Saudi's de facto leader who is known by his initials MBS.[Getty Images]

“The Palestinian issue was and remains the central issue for Arab countries, and it is at the top of the kingdom’s priorities,” declared the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman while chairing the 32nd Arab League summit in the Red Sea city of Jeddah on Friday.

His comments come amid a heightened push from the United States to establish a normalization agreement through the Abraham Accords between Saudi Arabia and Israel, which experts believe would be a gigantic step towards solving the Arab-Israeli conflict. MBS seemed to be continuing his hardball stance when it comes to normalizing with Israel, specifically where U.S. mediation efforts are involved.

Saudi and U.S. relations have been especially frosty during the Biden administration and only recently have seemed to be slowly thawing. U.S. President Joe Biden warned in October of 2022 that Saudi Arabia would face "consequences" after OPEC+ announced a cut in oil production. Saudi hit back at the Biden Administration by suggesting that the U.S. asked it to wait a month before cutting oil production. The insinuation was that Biden wanted the Saudi's to wait until after the midterm elections in the U.S - an allegation the White House denied.

There was also tension over the assassination of former journalist Jamal Khashoggi, 59, who was a Saudi citizen living in Northern Virginia and writing columns for The Washington Post that were often critical of the Saudi monarchy. He was killed during a visit to the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul on Oct. 2, 2018. His body was dismembered, and his remains have never been found.

During his presidential campaign, Biden had promised to make Saudi Arabia a "pariah." That was then, this is now. The United States is bent on competing with China for the title of international peace-mediating superpower after Beijing brokered the Saudi-Iran detente in March of this year. Biden is now saying that his administration will strive to reach a normalization deal between Israel and Saudi Arabia by the end of 2023.

The Saudis have insisted on the internationally recognized establishment of a Palestinian nation state as a condition for any accords agreement with Israel. Modern Israel declared its independence in May of 1948 while situated in the region then known as Palestine, and was almost immediatley recognized by the U.S., the Soviet Union and the United Nations. The Arab-Israel war broke out on May 15 of that year, and ended in a miraculously victorious Israel gaining more territory and Jewish population while Palestine's decreased.

“We will not delay in providing assistance to the Palestinian people in recovering their lands, restoring their legitimate rights and establishing an independent state on the 1967 borders with East Jerusalem as its capital,” bin Salman also said in his address to the Jeddah conference.

Officially the 32nd Ordinary Session of the Council of the League of Arab States at the Summit Level, the assembly was a meeting of heads of state and government of member states of the League of Arab States that took place in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia on 19 May 2023. 22 countries were represented, including Syria in the person of President Bashar al-Assad who returns after his nation's Arab League membership was suspended in 2011 over Assad’s crackdown against Arab Spring protests that evolved into the ongoing Syrian Civil War. Al-Assad received a warm welcome from the Crown Prince, who spearheaded the lobbying for Assad's return to the Arab League.

The bashing of Israel has long been a unifying theme in the Arab world and Al-Assad's speech at this year's conference was no different, saying “The Arab League summit presents a historic opportunity to address regional problems without Western and foreign interference,” specifially the “crimes of the Zionist entity against the Palestinian people.”

MBS greets Syria's President Bashar Al-Assad at the 32nd Arab League Summit [Getty].

Jordan’s King Abdullah played a similar chord as bin Salman, declaring that “the Palestinian issue remains the focus of our attention. We cannot give up on the pursuit of a just and comprehensive peace, which will not be achieved if the Palestinian people are not able to establish an independent state within the pre-1967 borders, with East Jerusalem as its capital.”

The Christian world is watching for signs of a peace deal between Israel and Palestine, believing that Daniel's 70 Weeks prophesy would be fulfilled by a seven-year agreement struck between the rivals. Many Christians also believe that the "Tribulation" or persecution of believers in Jesus will begin 3.5 years into said peace deal. And that the return of Jesus Christ will happen immediately after the tribulation of those days, according to the Holy Bible (Daniel 9:24-27; Matthew 24).



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