Families of the accused said their relatives were being prosecuted without any legal representation.
Dozens of Palestinian activists residing in Saudi Arabia were accused by the kingdom of supporting Hamas, the governing authority in the Gaza Strip, and were put on trial according to Arabic press reports.
Sixty-eight Palestinian and Jordanian citizens started to face Sunday the “special terrorism court” in the capital Riyadh the reports said.
Families of the accused said their relatives, who were arrested by Saudi secret police in April 2019, are being prosecuted without any legal representation.
Hamas released a statement Monday denouncing the accusations against these Palestinians in Saudi Arabia as “false” and their trial as “unjust.”
"The Palestinians arrested by the Saudi state security police have committed no crime other than having the honor of defending Jerusalem and Al Aqsa Mosque," the statement said.
Hamas is generally seen in the Arab world as a rightful resistance organization that fights Israel’s violations against Palestinians and the illegal occupation of their lands. But the recent change in Saudi leadership with crown prince Mohammed bin Salman (MBS) accession to power, has been accompanied by a strengthening of the ties between the kingdom and Israel.
A senior member of Hamas, Mousa Abu Marzouk, told Al Jazeera that his organization has been unsuccessfully trying to mediate efforts with the Saudi government for months in order to liberate the detainees.
According to the director of the Gulf Studies Center at Qatar University Mahjoob Zweiri, MBS is desperate to take control of the kingdom before the death of his father, and is in critical need of political support, particularly from the United States (U.S.) and Israel.
Zweiri added MBS's effort to access the Saudi throne has led him to back U.S. President Donald Trump's Middle East plan.
A plan that allows Israel to annex all illegal Jewish settlements in the West Bank, as well as the strategic Jordan Valley and that grants it the whole city of Jerusalem as a capital.