In an interview with the Saudi-backed newspaper Al-Sharq al-Awsat, Mr Erian said that the “ideology of Zionism” had ended in failure and that “Palestine’s occupiers” should leave to make way for the return of Palestinians.

“Jewish occupiers of the territory of historic Palestine are an obstacle to the Palestinians’ right of return,” he said. “Anyone who can read the future can see that this project has a decade, less than a decade to go, and it is our faith that the people of Palestine can then return to Palestine.”

He said a future state would include Muslim, Christians, Jews and Druze as Palestinian citizens.