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Biden claims Hamas launched operation due to US diplomacy, to prevent Saudi-Israel normalisation deal

November 26, 2023 at 9:23 am

United States President Joe Biden speaks during the National Thanksgiving Turkey Ceremony at the White House in Washington DC, United States on November 20, 2023 [Celal Güneş – Anadolu Agency]

The United States’ president Joe Biden has claimed that the 7 October operation into Israel carried out by Palestinian resistance group Hamas was a direct result of his administration’s diplomacy in the region and with Saudi Arabia, in the latest of such speculations on the cause of the attacks.

In a press conference on Friday, which coincided with the start of a four-day temporary truce between Israel and Hamas to facilitate hostage exchanges and aid access, President Biden stated that “I cannot prove what I’m about to say. But I believe one of the reasons why Hamas struck when they did was they knew that I was working very closely with the Saudis and others in the region to bring peace to the region by having recognition of Israel and Israel’s right to exist.”

Since the Hamas operation and the subsequent Israeli bombardment and invasion of the Gaza Strip throughout the past month and a half, it has been a reoccurring theory that the group chose that time to strike in an effort to ruin the normalisation talks between Saudi Arabia and Israel. That claim has not yet been proven or confirmed, however.

Prior to the attacks, Washington had been brokering the talks between Riyadh and Tel Aviv, in what would have supposedly been the biggest diplomatic breakthrough in the region as Saudi Arabia is perceived as the most influential country in the Gulf and the Arab and Muslim worlds.

According to Biden, a landmark deal had been close, with his administration apparently being instrumental in those efforts along with the massive rail and sea project connecting India to Europe via the Middle East. The president claimed “overwhelming interest, and I think most Arab nations know that and are coordinating with one another to change the dynamic in their region for longer term peace”.

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