Hamas official sees 'breakthrough' in Saudi relations after Mashaal visit

Meetings between Hamas leader and Saudi King Salmon have marked a "clear shift in relations" with the Saudis, Salah Bardawi says.

July 19, 2015 09:34
1 minute read.
Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal speaks during an interview with Reuters in Doha

Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal speaks during an interview with Reuters in Doha. (photo credit: REUTERS)


Dear Reader,
As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. Nevertheless, traditional business models are no longer sustainable and high-quality publications, like ours, are being forced to look for new ways to keep going. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analyses from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner.

For $5 a month you will receive access to the following:

  • A user uxperience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew, Ivrit
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Repor
  • A brand new ePaper featuring the daily newspaper as it appears in print in Israel

Help us grow and continue telling Israel’s story to the world.

Thank you,

Ronit Hasin-Hochman, CEO, Jerusalem Post Group
Yaakov Katz, Editor-in-Chief

UPGRADE YOUR JPOST EXPERIENCE FOR 5$ PER MONTH Show me later Don't show it again

Following two years of tense relations, an apparent "breakthrough" has been made in the relationship between Hamas and Saudi Arabia, a senior Hamas official said on Saturday.

Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal's visit with Saudi King Salmon, Crown Prince Muhammad bin Nayef and Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, the king's son and defense minister, have already bared fruit with indications of a  "clear shift in relations and a breakthrough with Saudi Arabia," Salah Bardawl told Ma'an News Agency.

Be the first to know - Join our Facebook page.

Relations between the two sides were strained for many years, especially due to the failure of Saudi and Arab efforts to end the Hamas-Fatah conflict. The Saudis are also believed to have been upset with Hamas’s close ties with Iran.

"We sensed that there is a readiness in Saudi Arabia to support the Palestinian cause," Bardawl explained, asserting that the Saudi's tremendous amount of political capitol could offer "large support for the Palestinian cause on a political, moral, and material level."

A possible rapprochement between Hamas and Saudi Arabia may also be viewed as a sign that the Islamist movement has decided to distance itself from Iran.

Ahead of the trip, Mashaal and a senior delegation of Hamas leaders, were expected to raise several issues with Saudi officials, including ways of improving bilateral relations and the reconstruction of the Gaza Strip, a Hamas official said. He said that the two sides were also expected to discuss ways of ending the rivalry between Hamas and Fatah.

Saudi Arabia has in the past acted as a mediator between the two rival parties, but to no avail.

Adnan Abu Amer, a political analyst in the Gaza Strip, said that Mashaal’s visit to Saudi Arabia is “positive by all criteria.” He predicted that the visit would pave the way for ending tensions between the two parties and allow Saudi Arabia to restore its status as a major player in the Palestinian arena.

Related Content

July 22, 2018
Israel evacuates hundreds of Syrian 'White Helmets' in humanitarian effort