Saudi Arabia asked the Biden Administration to freeze normalization talks with Israel, according to a report published on Sunday by the London-based newspaper Elaph.
Citing officials in Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s office, Elaph reported that “Saudi Arabia has informed the US Administration to stop any discussion related to normalization with Israel”.
According to Elaph, an Israeli official said that the far-right Israeli government led by Netanyahu is unwilling to make any concessions to the Palestinians, therefore ruling out any possibility of normalization.
In particular, the report singled out far-right Israeli ministers Itamar Ben Gvir and Bezalel Smotrich’s insistence that Tel Aviv cannot make any concessions to the Palestinians.
According to Elaph, Israel was “confused (by this decision) as many experts and ministers, including the Israeli prime minister, were persuaded that Saudi Arabia would normalize without linking the agreement to the Palestinian issue.”
Furthermore, the report indicated that “the Israeli Minister of Strategic Affairs, Ron Dermer, leaked fabricated news to the American newspaper The Wall Street Journal” regarding “secret meetings between Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and the (Israeli) Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu”.
(The Palestine Chronicle)