RIYADH: The Saudi foreign ministry said Tuesday that it rejected statements made by the Israeli finance minister, who denied the existence of the Palestinian people, saying the remarks contributed to spreading hatred and violence and undermine peace.

“The Saudi Ministry of Foreign Affairs expresses the Kingdom’s condemnation and denunciation of the offensive and racist remarks made by an official at the Israeli occupation government against the State of Palestine and its brotherly people,” read the ministry’s statement on Twitter.

“The Kingdom confirms its rejection of the statements made by the Israeli official, which are contrary to the truth.”

“The Kingdom supports efforts to resolve the Palestinian issue in accordance with the Arab Peace Initiative,” it added.

Israeli Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich, who heads a religious-nationalist party in Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s hard-right coalition, said on Sunday there was “no such thing as a Palestinian people,” or Palestinian history or culture.