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Saudis Will Accept ‘Verbal Agreement’ on Palestinian State for Normalization with Jerusalem: Report


A Saudi official said on Thursday that his country would be willing to accept a 'verbal agreement’ from Israel that they would renew negotiations to establish a Palestinian state as part of a normalization agreement, according to a report by The Wall Street Journal.

The statement comes as there are indications that the Biden administration is stepping up its efforts to negotiate some level of official relations between the two countries.

The report stated that in exchange for Saudi Arabia’s recognition of the Jewish state, Washington is planning to formalize a defense agreement with the Kingdom and provide assistance with civilian nuclear power development. Advancing these two issues has been an important policy goal for Riyadh.

Palestinian nationalism has long been championed by the Saudis, and the lack of an independent state for them was the stated reason why they did not join Bahrain, Morocco, and the United Arab Emirates when the three Muslim-majority nations entered the Abraham Accords with Israel in 2020.

The newspaper noted that achieving these goals may be difficult for Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, since any deal with Ramallah will likely face significant opposition from the nationalist members of his government.

Another problem for Netanyahu is that public resistance to Palestinian statehood has taken a new hold considering the October massacre in southern Israel. The Journal cited a recent poll revealing that 59% of Jewish Israelis oppose an agreement that would lead to a Palestinian state, even if it led to peace agreements with their Arab neighbors.

U.S. officials outlined another advantage of the proposal, as it would limit the influence of Beijing and Tehran in the region by bringing the Saudis closer to the United States and its allies in Jerusalem.

Related Story: World’s Largest Muslim Country Will Normalize Ties with Israel: Report

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