Sunday, June 23, 2024

Palestinian authority backs conditional Saudi-Israeli normalization: Report

The Palestinian Authority (PA) has reportedly announced its conditions for backing any potential normalization agreement between Saudi Arabia and Israel, despite rejecting the previous deals between the Zionist regime and some Arab states.

Citing six US officials and Israeli sources familiar with the issue, American news website Axios reported on Wednesday that the PA’s list of wants includes giving Ramallah more control over parts of Area C in the occupied West Bank, where Israel currently has full control and the reopening of the US consulate in al-Quds.

The PA has also asked for steps to be taken by the United Nations to recognize Palestine as a member state and demands the US for the scrapping of congressional legislation characterizing the PA as a terror organization.

It also wants Saudi Arabia to open a consulate in al-Quds and to resume funding to the PA which was halted several years ago.

Hussein al-Sheikh, Secretary of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO)’s Executive Committee, who is leading the consultations on the issue with Riyadh, gave the list of possible deliverables to Saudi national security adviser Musaed bin Mohammed al-Aiban three months ago, the sources said.

The Joe Biden administration is aware of the content of the Palestinian proposals to the Saudis, they added.

The shift in PA’s policy, which strongly condemned the normalization deals back in 2020, comes as Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and his aides have decided to avoid a clash with Riyadh and leverage their position to get as much as they can from any possible agreement.

Earlier, The Wall Street Journal, citing unnamed Saudi officials, reported that Riyadh has offered to resume financial aid to the cash-strapped PA in a bid to gain Ramallah’s support for its efforts to normalize relations with Israel.

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman first made the proposal in April, when Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas visited the kingdom.

Saudi Arabia hopes that Abbas’s approval of a normalization agreement with the Tel Aviv regime would silence criticisms directed at Riyadh over abandoning the Palestinian cause.

US President, Joe Biden, declared on July 28th that a deal for Israel and Saudi Arabia to normalize relations may be on the horizon following National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan’s talks with Saudi officials in Jeddah earlier in the week.

In order to sign a deal with Israel, Riyadh publicly asked Tel Aviv to implement the 2002 Arab Peace Initiative to establish a Palestinian state first.

However, members of the far-right Israeli regime, led by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, say they will not make any concession to the Palestinians as part of a potential deal for normalization of relations with Saudi Arabia.

The US-brokered normalization deals in 2020, which saw the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Sudan, and Morocco normalize ties with Israel, have sparked widespread condemnations from the Palestinians as well as nations and human rights advocates across the globe, especially within the Muslim world.

Palestinians slammed the deals as a treacherous “stab in the back” and a “betrayal” of their cause against the decades-long Israeli occupation of Palestinian territories.

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