Gulf Arab states rebuke Israel, but alliances inch closer

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Arab states resoundingly condemned the killing of more than 50 Palestinians in this week's Gaza protests, just as they have after previous Israeli violence going back decades.

But behind the scenes fears over Iran have divided Arab leaders, with some willing to quietly reach out to Israel.

Saudi Arabia, which has used its control of holy sites in Mecca and Medina to brand itself the protector of Islam around the world, offered a brief statement of condemnation and reaffirmed its support for "the Palestinian brotherly people" and their "legitimate rights."

Saudi Arabia's powerful crown prince has said the Gulf Arab states and Israel have mutual interests. Trump administration officials say a shift in alliances is already underway.