The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has a long lasting stance on the Palestinian Issue since the era of its founder King Abdul Aziz al Saud. This enduring stance was first declared in 1935, at the conference on the Palestinian issue (Madrid Round Table Conference), until the current era of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Fahd bin Abdul Aziz.
The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has been backing and supporting the Palestinian issue in all its different phases and levels (politically, economically, and socially); since the Kingdom strongly believes that these supporting efforts are an Arab and Islamic duty.
The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has its own leading and distinctive role in bolstering the Palestinian issue and reinforcing the Palestinians towards achieving their aspirations in establishing an independent state. The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia adopted all resolutions of international organizations with regard to Palestinians. It also participated in numerous meetings and conferences on the Palestinian issue since Madrid conference to Road Plan. In this respect, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia presented the Saudi peace initiative proposed by his Royal Highness Crown Prince Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz, and adopted by Arab states in Beirut Summit in March 2002. The Initiative maintains peace and stability to all nations and guarantees a just, lasting, and comprehensive solution to the Arab-Israeli conflict.
The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia exerts its utmost in contacting the West, friendly nations, and the US Administration to pressure Israel for considering international resolutions that call for complete Israeli withdrawal from all the Arab territories occupied since June 1967.
The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has been further requesting the international community to interfere in order to stop the Israel frequent and aggressive practices committed against Palestinian people.
The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia condemned the racial segregation wall that Israel currently building on much of the Palestinian territories, and in this respect the Kingdom presented a protest memorandum to the International Court of Justice in Hague. In July 9th, 2004, the Court in Hague issued its resolution No. (28/2004) calling upon Israel to remove this illegal wall. In addition, the UN General Assembly issued its resolution in this respect calling upon Israel to remove this illegal wall as well.
Saudi Initiatives to resolve the Palestinian Issue:
First: King Fahd Project for Peace (Arab Project for Peace)
In Fez Arab Summit in 1982, King Fahd project for peace was announced and adopted by Arab nations. This peace plan has become the basis for Arab peace plan in Madrid Peace Conference.
The plan, which became known as the Fahd Plan consists of the following provisions:
1. Israel to withdraw from all Arab territories occupied in 1967, including Al Qods (Jerusalem).
2. Israeli settlements built on Arab land after 1967 to be dismantled.
3. Guarantee the freedom of worship for all religions in the holy places.
4. An affirmation of the right of the Palestinian Arab people to return to their homes and those who do not wish to return receive a compensation.
5. The West Bank and the Gaza Strip to have a transitional period under the auspices of the United Nations for a period not exceeding several months.
6. An independent Palestinian State should be set up with Al Qods (Jerusalem) as its capital.
7. All States in the region should be able to live in peace.
8. The United Nations or some Member States of the United Nations to guarantee the implementation of these provisions.
Second: the Initiative of His Royal Highness Crown Prince Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz:
It is the Saudi peace initiative suggested by his Royal Highness Prince Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz, and adopted by Arab states in Beirut summit March 2002, which aims at maintaining peace and stability to all nations and guarantees a just, lasting and comprehensive solution to the Arab-Israeli conflict. This initiative calls for:
1- Full Israeli withdrawal from all the territories occupied since 1967, to the June 4th, 1967 lines.
2- The acceptance of the establishment of a sovereign independent Palestinian state on the Palestinian territories occupied since June 4, 1967 in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, with Al-Qods (Jerusalem) as its capital.
3- Solving the Refugees issue in accordance with the international resolutions issued in this respect.
The Saudi initiative stated that the acceptance by Israel to this initiative means that Arabs could establish normal relations with Israel in the context of this comprehensive peace.
Saudi Financial Support to the Palestinians:
Since the very beginning of the Palestinian issue, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia presented financial and morale support to the Palestinian people and to the Palestinian Authority. This generous support comes out of the Kingdom obligation towards both Arab and Muslim issues:
1- The Kingdom presented a generous financial aid to the Palestinians in Al-Khartoum Arab summit 1967.
2- In Baghdad Arab summit 1978, The Kingdom announced that it will present a total financial aid of ($1,97,300,000) in 10 years starting from 1979 to 1989.
3- In Algeria Arab summit 1987, the Kingdom allocated a monthly financial aid of $6 million to the Palestinians.
4- In the first Intifadah 1987, the Kingdom presented a sum of ($1,433,000) million to the first Intifadah Fund. It also paid ($2,000,000) million to the International Red Cross to buy medications, medical equipments and food for the Palestinians.
In addition, the Kingdom announced in the conferences of the donors countries 1994, 1995, 1997, 1999 that it is committed to donate ($300,000,000) million through the Saudi Development Fund to a Palestinian Development Program that oversees health, education and housing sectors in the Palestinian Territories. The Kingdom also took upon itself to exempt the Palestinian products and commodities from customs, duties, and tariffs.
On the other hand, the Kingdom fulfilled its money commitment to the Palestinians ($184.8 million from April 1st, 2002 to march 30th, 2004) according to resolutions of both Arab summits in Beirut March 2002 and Sharm al-Sheikh March 2003.
It also fulfilled all its money obligations to the Palestinians ($46.2 million from April to September 2004) in accordance with Tunisia Arab summit May, 2004.
The Saudi financial support to the Palestinians is the biggest share among all other Arab donors.
In Cairo Arab Summit 2000, the Kingdom suggested establishing two Funds with a total amount of one billion dollar. The Kingdom donated ($200,000,000) million to the first one, which was called Al-Aqsa Fund, whereas it donated ($50,000,000) million to the second one which was called Al Qods Fund.
The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia gives a great attention to the problem of the Palestinian refugees. It presented humanitarian aid to the Palestinian refugees both through direct channels and through international organizations such as UNRWA, UNESCO, Arab Fund for Economic and Social Development, World Bank, and Islamic Bank.
The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia regularly pays its annual share amounting to ($1,200,000) million to the budget of the United Nations Relief and Working Agency (UNRWA). The Kingdom also presented a special aid of ($60,400,000) million to UNRWA in order to cover the deficit in its budget and to implement its Palestinians related programs.
The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia allocated ($34,000,000) million to UNRWA out of its ($300,000,000) million aid to the Palestinians announced in the conferences of the donors countries 1994, 1995, 1997, 1999.
Saudi Popular Support to the Palestinians:
After Arab-Israel war in June 1967, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia established popular committees to raise money from Saudi people to help the Palestinians. These popular committees raised about (SR 2 billion).
In addition, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia presented a popular financial support of more than (SR 118 million) during the first Intifadah 1987. In the second Intifadah 2000, the Kingdom offered a generous aid (SR 240 million) in addition to other contributions such as cars, ambulances, and large quantities of medicine materials, food and jewelries.
Al Qods Issue:
Al Qods committee was established in the context of the Muslim World League to preserve the Arab identity of Al Qods and its Islamic style. Al Qods committee issued a decree underlying the importance of Al Qods Fund and called the Arab states to cover the total amount of money allocated for Al Qods Fund, ($100,000,000) million.
The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia supports Al Qods Fund in order to fight the Judaization to preserve the Arab and Islamic style of Al Qods and to enhance the Palestinian struggle in both Al Qods and other Palestinian Territories.
In the field of protecting the Islamic antiquities and sacred places in Palestine, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia reacted with all calls from UNISCO to protect and restore Islamic antiquities and sacred places in Palestine. The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia paid the costs of rebuilding the Dom of the Rock, Al Aqsa Mosque, the Caliphate Omar bin al Khattab mosque and the houses of Imams and Sheikhs in Al Qods.
The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia issued numerous statements condemning Israeli aggressions against the Palestinian people and against the holy sites. For example, The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia denounced the Israeli government decision claiming Al Qods (Jerusalem) as a permanent capital of Israel. The efforts of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in cooperation with Arab, Muslim and friend nations resulted in issuing the UN resolution (478) in 1980. This international resolution - which was considered a success for Muslim diplomacy - calls all states to withdraw its foreign missions from Al Qods.
Recently, The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia extended its congratulations to the chairman of Palestinian Liberation Organization Mr. Mahmoud Abbas hopping that Allah will help him in achieving peace, security and stability to all the Palestinian people in his endeavor to gain the legitimate rights especially establishing the independent Palestinian state with Al Qods as its capital.