Former Palestinian Foreign Minister Nabil Shaath told Egypt’s ON TV that in 2000, Saudi King Abdullah, then the crown prince, gave the Palestinians half a billion dollars to keep the Intifada going, Memri TV reports.
Shaath said that in early October 2000 he was invited to Saudi Arabia where he met with Abdullah.
“When we were alone, he asked me just one question: ‘How much do you want?…You are in the midst of an Intifada. It may last two or three years. They will freeze all your assets. How will you continue this Intifada? It takes money.’ So I named the largest figure I could think of: one billion dollars. I said that one billion dollars could keep us going for two or three years. ‘It’s on me,’ he said.”
“He summoned the Arab summit two weeks later, in October. As soon as I got to the venue of the summit, in Cairo, he grabbed my hand and pulled me to an adjacent room. He said: ‘I will demand one billion dollars from the Arab League. They should all bear the responsibility. I will declare that I will pay half and will collect the other half.’…That’s what he did. That was the money that enabled us to survive in the three years of the Intifada.”