“I think we are seeing this end more realistic than before, the fact that they are now fighting within their ranks. Among the questions that the security forces have been asking certain activists that if they have any contact with members of their own families who have already departed and are working against the regime," said Ali Al Ahmed, the director of the Institute for [Persian] Gulf Affairs (IGA), on Friday.
“We have a princess who sought asylum or others who are now outside the country and trying to really unseat the current leadership and just put it to the right stability because of the in-fighting and the end of the Saudi state will be mostly rousted not because of this protest movement alone, but because of the division where it is within the ranks of their own family,” he said.
Al Ahmed also noted that the arrest of prominent Shia cleric Sheikh Nemr al-Nemr will accelerate the ongoing protest movement in the oil-rich country.
“I think so since the arrest of Sheikh Nemr, the protest frequency has accelerated and the protest movement in the country not only in the Eastern region has expanded. We saw that yesterday in Jeddah where a few people were gathering outside the ministry of the interior in Jeddah’s, you know, the branch there,” he said.
“We are seeing more protests across the country and I have information that the end of Ramadan will have many protests in different cities and new cities in fact to take advantage of the King’s announcement of the conference, so-called Islamic solidarity conference at the end of Ramadan,” Al Ahmed added.
On Friday, Saudi security forces opened fire on anti-regime demonstrations in the eastern city of Qatif, injuring several protesters.
The attack came after thousands of Saudi protesters took to the streets in Qatif, demanding the release of political prisoners, including Sheikh Nemr.
Chanting slogans in support of social justice in the oil-rich Eastern Province, protestors also asked the regime to stop killing civilians by the Saudi-backed forces in neighboring Bahrain.
Tensions have been running high in Saudi Arabia's oil-rich Eastern Province in the past weeks following the detention of the Shia cleric.
Since February 2011, protesters have held demonstrations on an almost regular basis in the Kingdom's east, mainly in Qatif and Awamiyah, calling for the release of all political prisoners, freedom of expression and assembly, and an end to widespread discrimination.
However, the demonstrations have turned into protests against the Al Saud regime, especially since November 2011, when Saudi security forces killed five protesters and injured many others in Eastern Province.