'We've become a laughing stock': Qatar ex-leader criticises Gulf after Saudi crown prince's Israel remarks

'We've become a laughing stock': Qatar ex-leader criticises Gulf after Saudi crown prince's Israel remarks
2 min read
05 April, 2018
Hamad bin Jassim Al Thani said in a series of tweets on Wednesday that Gulf states have become a 'laughing stock' that make statements to please Western nations.
Qatar's former prime minister has seemingly criticised the Saudi crown prince [Getty]
Qatar's former prime minister has seemingly criticised the Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman over comments that Israel has a "right" to a homeland and called for unity in the Gulf.

Hamad bin Jassim Al Thani said in a series of tweets on Wednesday that Gulf states have become a "laughing stock" that make statements to please Western nations.

"We have become a laughing stock that throws our wealth away on ill-conceived deals and paying lobbies in influential states," Sheikh Hamad said.

"We mention that Israelis have the right to live in their land safely, which has been my conviction for many years and still is, and are ashamed to mention that Palestinians have the same right as well.

"We need to say and do that which will meet the aspirations of our peoples. We need someone who will lift us up from the defeats and humiliation that this nation is experiencing and not be concerned with saying what pleases others," he adds in his tweet.

Sheikh Hamad added that Gulf countries must mend their strained relations for the benefit of people in the region as a Saudi-led blockade of Doha shows no signs of abating.

In an interview with a US magazine published on Monday, Saudi heir Mohammed bin Salman appeared to put the rival land claims of Palestinians and Israel on an equal footing.

"I believe that each people, anywhere, has a right to live in their peaceful nation," the prince told The Atlantic.

"I believe the Palestinians and the Israelis have the right to have their own land," he added.

Saudi Arabia's ruler King Salman has scrambled to counter his son's remarks.

The king on Tuesday reaffirmed "the kingdom's steadfast position toward the Palestinian issue and the legitimate rights of the Palestinian people to an independent state with Jerusalem as its capital."

The crown prince's comments have sparked widespread anger in Palestine, where Israeli forces last week killed 16 Palestinians in one day during a peaceful demonstration along the Israel-Gaza border.

Last June Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Egypt and the United Arab Emirates broke off diplomatic ties with Qatar, which the bloc accuses of supporting radical Islamists.

Doha has categorically denied the charges.