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Israel dismisses media rumors that Saudis postponed normalization talks due to PA dispute

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (Photo: Flash90, Bandar Aljaloud/Saudi Royal Palace)

Israeli and U.S. government representatives deny a recent media report that the Saudi government had postponed normalization talks with Jerusalem due to the Israeli government’s alleged unwillingness to make concessions toward the Palestinian Authority.

The Saudi-owned Elaph news outlet recently claimed that Saudi Arabia had informed Washington that it would suspend the normalization talks due to the Netanyahu government’s alleged hardline policies toward the Palestinian Authority (PA).

The Saudis reportedly argued that Israel's far-right National Security Minister Itamar Ben Gvir and Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich were obstacles to a peace agreement between Jerusalem and Ramallah. The Israeli government is reportedly “confused” by the Saudis, according to Elaph.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has consistently stated that widening regional Arab-Israeli peace accords would facilitate a peace settlement between Israel and the PA.

During an interview with Bloomberg News in August, Netanyahu admitted there were real obstacles to peace between Riyadh and Jerusalem. However, the Israeli premier stressed that a Saudi-Israeli peace agreement was ultimately possible if there was political will to implement it.

“Do I think it’s feasible to have that, and do I think that political questions will block it? I doubt it,” Netanyahu said at the time.

“If there’s political will, there will be a political way to achieve normalization and a formal peace between Israel and Saudi Arabia,” he added.

Former U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, who played a key role in implementing the Abraham Accords in 2020, recently urged not to include concessions to the PA in the Saudi-Israeli normalization talks.

In addition, Pompeo argued funding the Palestinian Authority undermines prospects for a future peace, as well as the prosperity of the local Arab population in the West Bank.

The All Israel News Staff is a team of journalists in Israel.

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