A hoped-for ‘deal of the century’ involving a permanent Saudi Arabia-Israel detente diplomatic recognition based on Trump’s Abraham Accords looks to be effectively dead, at a moment that a hoped-for Hamas-Israel truce also looks dead.
Saudi Arabia’s foreign ministry has issued a new statement confirming the kingdom will not participate in deal with Israel until an “independent Palestinians state is recognized”.
Riyadh has made it clear in the Wednesday statement that Saudi-Israel peace off the table until an “independent Palestinian state is recognized on the 1967 borders with East Jerusalem as its capital.”
The statement included a demand for a full Gaza retreat on the part of Israeli forces. The Saudis say there can be no detente until “Israeli aggression on the Gaza Strip stops and all Israeli occupation forces withdraw from the Gaza Strip.”
It further calls for east Jerusalem to be established as the capital of a Palestinian state, “so that the Palestinian people can obtain their legitimate rights and so that a comprehensive and just peace is achieved for all.”
Crucially it was only on Monday that US Secretary of State Antony Blinken was in Riyadh as part of his new Gaza-related tour. Blinken met with Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman Al Saud in Riyadh. The top US diplomat is currently in Tel Aviv.
Below is the full English translation of the Saudi statement…
Prior to Oct. 7 and Hamas’ massive terror raid on southern Israeli communities, relations between Riyadh and Tel Aviv appeared at a high point. Mutual delegations were touring the others’ cities, and Saudi Arabia had even opened its airspace to Israeli airliners for the first time in history. In the prior decade, the two had covertly worked together to wage war against Syria’s Bashar al-Assad and pro-Iran interests.
Some analysts have speculated that the Palestinians sensed their cause was about to be thrown under the bus, forever forgotten about if the Abraham Accords finally got extended to Saudi Arabia. They say that Hamas launched its terror attack precisely to prevent and completely sever Saudi-Israel normalization. And now, this is looking like precisely the outcome.