Saudi ambassador in a row with British journalist over Gaza allegations
Rescue workers remove the body of a Palestinian from under the rubble of his home following an Israeli airstrike on Beit Hanun, Gaza Strip (AFP).
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Prince Mohammed bin Nawaf, the Saudi ambassador to London, has blasted British journalist David Hearst for a spurious and unsubstantiated article in Huffington Post. The article alleged that Saudi Arabia had colluded with Israel in an attempt to crush Hamas.
In a two-page written statement released on social media websites, Prince Mohammed described Hearst’s article, entitled “Attack on Gaza by Saudi Royal Appointment,” as a pack of lies.
Hearst is the editor of Middle East Eye, an online publication.
“It is hard to believe that such utter rubbish, such baseless lies, could be written by someone who purports to be an editor of any kind,” said Prince Mohammed. “Was it that you wanted to try to be different and really didn’t care what you said, so you decide to tip the world upside down and shake it about from your comfortable London desk with not a thought for the facts?”
The prince said Saudi Arabia has done, and will always do, all it can to support the Palestinian people in their claim for the return oftheir land and for self-determination in their own state.
“The brutality and disproportionality of Israeli actions against the civilian population in Gaza is a crime against humanity,” he said. “To think that Saudi Arabia, which has committed itself to supporting and protecting the rights of all Palestinians to self-determination and sovereignty, would knowingly support the Israeli action is quite frankly a grotesque insult.”
Describing Israeli crimes as genocide, Prince Mohammed said Israel was not defending itself. “It is murdering defenseless children. And entire families. Netanyahu and his supporters will answer for their crimes before a higher authority than here on earth,” he said.
The prince pointed out that Jews and Jewish communities around the world have spoken out against Israeli aggression and made it clear that it is not being carried out in their name. “This is a glimmer of hope, and we can only pray that the Israeli government will listen to them,” he said.
“The Palestinian people are our brothers and sisters — whether they are Muslim Arabs or Christian Arabs. Be assured we, the people and government of Saudi Arabia, will never, ever give up on them,” he concluded.
Theletter became an instant hit on news media and social media websites. It was tweeted, retweeted and posted on Facebook withreaders heaping scorn on Hearst for writing such an unsubstantiated article.
Award-winning Saudi journalist Abdulaziz M. Alhendi said he was not surprised by Hearst’s article. “(Though) he is the editor at Middle East Eye, this article of his on Gaza proves that he has no eye and that in fact it turns blind when it comes to facts about Saudi Arabia,” he wrote on his Twitter handle.