Israeli Foreign Minister Eli Cohen said that Tel Aviv will now allow a Saudi “official physically sitting in Jerusalem”.
“We will not allow the opening of any kind of diplomatic mission” in Jerusalem, Israeli Foreign Minister Eli Cohen said, adding, “Will there be an official physically sitting in Jerusalem? This we will not allow.”
Israel ruled out on Sunday a diplomatic base in Jerusalem for the new Saudi envoy to the Palestinians, whose appointment comes as Washington tries to forge normalization between Israel and Riyadh, The New Arab reported.
Saudi Ambassador to Jordan, Nayef Al-Sudairi, expanded his credentials on Sunday to include a non-resident envoy to the Palestinians. A social media post by his embassy in Amman said “consul-general in Jerusalem” was now among Al-Sudairi’s duties.
That appeared to correspond with the Palestinians’ long-standing goal of founding a state in territories Israel continues to occupy in violation of international, with East Jerusalem as the capital. Israeli occupation authorities, however, bar Palestinian diplomatic activity in the city.
“This [Al-Sudairi] could be a delegate who will meet with representatives in the Palestinian Authority,” Israeli Foreign Minister Eli Cohen told Tel Aviv radio station 103 FM.
“We will not allow the opening of any kind of diplomatic mission” in Jerusalem, Cohen added. “Will there be an official physically sitting in Jerusalem? This we will not allow.”
Israel’s extreme-right government has played down any prospect of it giving significant ground to the Palestinians as part of a normalisation deal with Saudi Arabia.
Saudi Arabia officially supports the Palestinian cause and has so far shunned official ties with Israel, although informal relations exist.
The United States has been heavily promoting a normalization agreement between Israel and Saudi Arabia similar to 2020’s Abraham Accords between the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Morocco, and Israel.
Palestinians slammed that agreement as a betrayal of their cause.
Israel’s extreme-right government has played down any prospect of it giving significant ground to the Palestinians as part of a normalization deal with Saudi Arabia.
Riyadh has previously conditioned recognition of Israel on the Palestinians’ statehood goal being addressed.
(PC, The New Arab)