Saudi Arabia Says it would Respond if Israel Threatens Lebanon or Syria
Saudi Crown Prince Abdullah bin Abdel Aziz said Monday that the kingdom would respond if Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak makes good on pledges to hold Syria and Lebanon responsible if border violence persists.
"Barak must think carefully before making the slightest intolerable step ... and no one can imagine that the Saudi kingdom and the entire Arab-Islamic nation would remain still," Prince Abdullah said during a visit to injured Palestinians being treated at a Riyadh hospital.
Barak said Saturday that Israel would hold Syria, the main powerbroker in Lebanon, responsible if violence continued on the Lebanese-Israeli border. The Damascus-backed Lebanese fundamentalist group Hizbollah launched an ambush on Israeli positions Saturday and took hostage three Israeli soldiers.
Prince Abdullah also announced that the Saudi royal family was donating 10.7 million dollars to the "heroes of the Palestine uprising" and the families of the "Palestinian martyrs."
Prince Al-Walid bin Talal bin Abdel Aziz, a wealthy businessman, also announced a donation of 2.4 million dollars.
Meanwhile Saudi Arabia's official press, which without exception reflects the government's viewpoint, lashed out angrily at Israel, accusing it of understanding only the language of war in relation to the Palestinians.
Israeli leaders "understand only the language of war and cannot act within the logic of peace," said Al-Jazirah, branding Barak and hawkish right-wing leader Ariel Sharon "two sides of the same coin."
The daily said Israel had "chosen" to provoke the violence with the Palestinians which has left nearly 100 dead.
It warned that the Palestinian Authority "is growing stronger whatever the sacrifices" of the Palestinian people.
The Jeddah daily Okaz was equally damning. "The bloody events confirm again that Israel has never wanted peace but that it seeks to pursue its provocations and shows of strength."
"Israel can certainly wipe out Arab armies, destroy the infrastructure of several of our capitals ... and keep the United States and NATO as a reserve army," added Al-Riyadh.
But it warned, "even if the Arabs are reduced to reverting to the Stone Age, the mountains of Lebanon alone will bury all the Jews of the world."
The daily said that Sharon, by visiting the mosque compound in Jerusalem's Old City on September 28, was counting on the "defeatist spirit" of the Arabs and expected only a plain condemnation.
"But his actions proved the greatest stimulant (to the Arabs) to go beyond the level of politeness in relation to the 'Black House' in Washington which is dominated by Jews," Al-Riyadh said.
Mecca daily Al-Nadwa bluntly urged the United Nations to "resort to force to end Barak's arrogance."
And Al-Madina reminded Israel that its fight "is not just with the Palestinian people but the entire Arab-Islamic family" and underlined the "encouraging" response of Arab leaders who have called their first summit in four years in response to the bloodshed.
Saudi Arabia, one of Washington's major Arab allies, has voiced strong support for the Palestinians and agreed to attend the summit set for October 21-22 in Cairo – RIYADH (AFP)
© 2000 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)
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