Report: Saudi Arabia Puts Normalization Talks on Hold Due to Palestinian Issue Standstill

A general view of Riyadh city, Saudi Arabia. (REUTERS/Mohammed Benmansour/File Photo)

According to an Arab media report, Saudi Arabia has communicated its intention to halt normalization discussions with Israel, citing what it perceives as the unyielding stance of the Israeli government on crucial matters, particularly the Palestinian conflict.

This report, published in the Saudi-owned Elaph newspaper on Sunday, claims that unnamed high-ranking Israeli officials have acknowledged receiving such a message from Washington. The report highlights the hindrance posed by the rhetoric of two hard-right ministers within Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s government: Bezalel Smotrich and Itamar Ben-Gvir. According to anonymous Saudi sources, the unwavering stance of these ministers on the Palestinian issue has impeded any substantial advancement in the normalization talks.

U.S. officials have reportedly considered the possibility of brokering a normalization agreement between Israel and Saudi Arabia, building on similar agreements facilitated during the previous administration under then-President Donald Trump. These previous accords led to the establishment of diplomatic relations between Israel and several nations, including the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Bahrain.

It’s worth noting that Saudi Arabia has not officially recognized Israel and did not participate in the 2020 U.S.-brokered Abraham Accords.

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