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Saudi Arabia won’t normalise with Israel without political horizon for Palestinian state, official says

May 22, 2024 at 9:34 am

Saudi Arabia’s Prince and Defence Minister Mohammad bin Salman al Saud speeches during a bilateral talks at the G20 Osaka Summit 2019, on June 29, 2019 in Osaka, Japan [Mikhail Svetlov/Getty Images]

Saudi Arabia will not move forward with any real normalisation process with Israel without a political horizon leading to the establishment of a Palestinian state, Israel’s i24 News website reported a senior official in the Saudi royal family saying yesterday.

The Saudi official added that “the establishment of a Palestinian state represents an Arab and Islamic need, and if it is abandoned, the kingdom will be portrayed as a traitor,” adding “the ball is now in the court of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.”

The remarks came after media outlets reported US National Security Adviser, Jack Sullivan, saying that Washington is close to concluding an agreement with Saudi Arabia regarding normalisation between Riyadh and Tel Aviv.

The administration of US President Joe Biden is seeking to conclude the normalisation deal between Saudi Arabia and Israel, before the upcoming presidential elections, however, Riyadh has repeatedly announced that such a deal is contingent on the establishment of a Palestinian state with East Jerusalem as its capital, in addition to a security agreement with Washington.

READ: US-Saudi officials meet for security and nuclear deal

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin rejects the establishment of a Palestinian state. While President Isaac Herzog said earlier that normalisation with Saudi Arabia is a step that could bring about a huge, radical change and constitute a victory.

On Sunday, Saudi Crown Prince, Prince Mohammed Bin Salman Al Saud, discussed with Sullivan ways to find a credible path towards a two-state solution that meets the aspirations and legitimate rights of the Palestinian people.

More than 35,600 Palestinians have been killed in Gaza, mostly women and children, and over 79,600 others injured, since October 2023.

More than seven months into Israel’s war, vast swathes of Gaza lay in ruins amid a crippling blockade on food, clean water and medicine which has led to a “man-made famine”.

Israel stands accused of genocide at the International Court of Justice, which has ordered Tel Aviv to ensure its forces do not commit acts of genocide and take measures to guarantee that humanitarian assistance is provided to civilians in Gaza.