During a speech at the Baker Institute in the US, Prince Turki al-Faisal stated, “All military occupied people have a right to resist the occupation, even militantly. I do not support the military option in Palestine. I prefer civil insurrection and civil disobedience. This brought down the British Empire in India and the Soviets in Eastern Europe … I condemn actions by Hamas and by the government of Israel. In this conflict, there are no heroes, only victims.”
Faisal, a former senior government official of Saudi Arabia and former head of the Kingdom’s intelligence unit, expressed his strong condemnation of Hamas targeting civilians. He emphasized that Islam prohibits the targeting of innocent civilians, regardless of the state of war. Faisal also criticized Hamas for giving the Israeli government an excuse to “ethnically cleanse Gaza of its citizens and bomb them to oblivion,” which he believes has undermined Saudi Arabia’s efforts for a peaceful resolution in the Israel-Palestine conflict.
The Saudi prince further criticized Western nations for considering the Hamas attack as unprovoked, questioning how much more provocation is needed when Israel has been oppressing the Palestinian people for decades. He criticized the targeted killings, imprisonment of civilians, and land confiscation by Israeli forces. Faisal also condemned Western politicians for showing sympathy when Israelis are killed but failing to express sorrow when Palestinians are killed.
Political experts view Faisal’s speech as a clear indication of Saudi Arabia’s stance on the situation. It is known that Saudi Arabia and other regional governments do not hold a favorable view of Hamas. The leaders of Egypt, Jordan, UAE, and Bahrain consider Hamas and its brand of “political Islam” as a threat to their rule.
Saudi Arabia was in the process of normalizing ties with Israel when Hamas launched its attack. Some analysts believe that Hamas aimed to derail the normalization process, which would have sidelined Hamas and Iran in a new Middle East.