Saudi Arabia’s King Salman has reiterated his country’s support for a Palestinian state after his son and heir apparent said Israelis were entitled to live peacefully on their own land. In a rare statement by an Arab leader, the king also emphasised the need to advance the peace process in a phone call with US President Donald Trump. The move comes after Israeli security forces killed 16 Palestinians last week during a demonstration along the Israel-Gaza border. The number rose to 17 yesterday.
State news agency SPA yesterday said King Salman reaffirmed the kingdom’s steadfast position towards the Palestinian issue and the legitimate rights of the Palestinian people to an independent state with Jerusalem as its capital. Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas praised King Salman, thanking him for his support. Saudi Arabia, the birthplace of Islam and home to its holiest shrines, does not recognise Israel.