The Palestinian Hamas Movement communicated with Saudi Arabia recently on the hope of freeing several of its members who are currently detained in the kingdom, the al-Mayadin reported on August 14.
More than two years ago, Saudi authorities arrested dozens of Palestinians on terrorism charges. Many of the detainees were members of Hamas, including the movement’s representative in the kingdom Mohamad Saleh al-Khudari.
Al-Mayadin said that Hamas contacted the Saudi leadership via a prominent Palestinian figure who lives in the kingdom.
Sources familiar with the matter told the Beirut-based news channel that Saudi Arabia informed Hamas that it would reestablish relations with it, and release all of its members only if accepts the conditions of the International Quartet on the Middle East. The sources noted that the kingdom didn’t ask the movement to cut ties with Iran as it did during past communications.
The Quartet was established in 2002 by the United Nations, the US, the European Union and Russia to help relaunch the Israeli-Palestinian peace process. Among the conditions set by the Quartet is the acknowledgment of Israel’s right to exist as well as all peace-related accords signed by Palestinian authorities.
“Hamas was shocked by Saudi Arabia’s requirement that a settlement be reached with the occupation,” al-Mayadin’s sources said. “Hamas informed the prominent Palestinian mediator in Saudi Arabia of its categorical rejection of any settlement with Israel or the resumption of relations with Saudi Arabia, if it is on this basis.”
Hamas has already refuted al-Mayadin report, denying any recent communication with Saudi Arabia over the detainees issue.
It’s worth noting that the Houthis (Ansar Allah) offered in 2020 to release several Saudi captives, including fighter pilots, in exchange for Hamas members and other Palestinian detainees in the kingdom. Saudi Arabia never responded to the Yemeni group’s offer.
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