The Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia has called for international intervention to stop Israel's escalation against the Palestinians. "The Israeli military has committed crimes against Palestinian civilians under the pretext of the disappearance of three settlers," said Prince Salman Bin Abdul Aziz. The world, he added, should "take responsibility" due to the "dangerous" nature of the escalation.
Prince Salman was speaking during a meeting in his office in Jeddah today (Wednesday) with Mahmoud Abbas. The Palestinian president confirmed that the kingdom "is set on its position in support of the Palestinian cause."
According to the Saudi Press Agency, the prince, who is also deputy prime minister and minister of defence, reviewed with Abbas the current situation in the occupied territories and Israel's violence against Palestinian civilians. Also on the agenda were Israel's continued settlement expansion, the Judaisation of Jerusalem and the division of access to Al Aqsa Mosque.
President Abbas expressed his deep appreciation of the position of Saudi Arabia, led by King Abdullah Bin Abdul Aziz and his deputy, and for what they offer the Palestinian people in care and support. He arrived in Jeddah on Tuesday evening to attend the 41st session of the conference of Foreign Ministers of Member States of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation which was due to open today.
Three Israeli settlers disappeared last Thursday evening from the settlement of Gush Etzion, north of Hebron. No Palestinian group has claimed responsibility for what is being assumed was the abduction of the settlers. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, however, has blamed Hamas, a claim which the Islamic Resistance Movement has rejected.
Since the settlers' disappearance, the Israeli army has waged a campaign of arrests of Palestinians across the West Bank. Many Hamas officials and members have been detained in the sweep.