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Israel’s national security head leads discussions with Palestinians as part of Saudi deal

The first dialogue of its kind for at least a decade, says Hanegbi

National Security Advisor Tzachi Hanegbi attends the Herzliya Conference, May 23, 2023. (Photo: Avshalom Sassoni/Flash90)

Discussions with the Palestinian Authority in the framework of a normalization deal with Saudi Arabia have been taking place for the last several months, according to Tzachi Hanegbi, the head of Israel’s National Security Council.

While speaking the International Counter-Terrorism Conference at Reichman University on Monday, Hanegbi said, “This is the first dialogue of its kind for at least a decade where the representatives speak very openly about what they want.”

“There are benefits in the dialogue with the Palestinians, they have an understanding that this time they will not let these agreements slip from their hands,” Hanegbi said, referring to the Abraham Accords, which didn’t include any concessions to the Palestinians.

Hanegbi, a Netanyahu confidant, is leading the discussions with the Palestinian Authority (PA) on behalf of the prime minister.

The Biden administration and Israel have confirmed ongoing discussions between the U.S. and Saudi Arabia about a broad security treaty that would include a normalization agreement with Israel.

The Saudi Kingdom has allegedly sought to include a civilian nuclear program as one of the conditions for signing a normalization with Israel. In addition, the Saudi government has called for considerable concessions to the PA.

“We are very much in favor of a ‘significant Palestinian component’ in the agreement, provided that there is no harm to Israel's security,” Hanegbi said.

“We will not be able to accept the campaign that the Palestinians are waging to bring the IDF soldiers to trial in legal forums around the world. If this happens, we will terminate all agreements with the Palestinian Authority immediately,” warned Israel's national security council chief.

"We don't have a framework and we don't have clauses that are ready for signing. There is more work to be done.”

Last week, White House National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan said that the parties in Saudi-Israel negotiations have a “broad understanding of many of the key elements,” but “there is still work to do.”

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

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