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Netanyahu alludes to willingness in making concessions to Palestinians for possible Saudi-Israel peace deal

'If there’s political will, there will be a political way to achieve normalization,' says Netanyahu in Bloomberg interview

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman (Photo: Shutterstock) - Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (Photo: Amos Ben Gershom/GPO)

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu remains optimistic about making concessions to Palestinians if it would help achieve a possible peace pact with Saudi Arabia.

“Do I think it’s feasible to have that, and do I think that political questions will block it? I doubt it,” Netanyahu told Bloomberg News in an interview.

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

“I think there’s enough room to discuss possibilities,” he added.

The prime minister’s comments came in the second part of the interview with Bloomberg News and echoed what Foreign Minister Eli Cohen said the day before.

“The Palestinian issue will not be an obstacle to peace,” Cohen said in an interview with Elaph, an Arabic-language site that broadcasts communication between Jerusalem and Riyadh, the capital of Saudi Arabia 

“We also proved this in the Abraham Accords. We all have an interest in improving life in the areas of the Palestinian Authority.”

In the Bloomberg interview, Netanyahu also indicated that the Saudis weren’t particularly concerned with what concessions would be made for the Palestinians and that conversations about them occur in closed meetings “a lot less than you think.”

“I think the Palestinian thing is brought in all the time, and it’s sort of a check box. You have to check it to say that you’re doing it.”

Riyadh is reportedly demanding significant concessions toward the Palestinians from Israel and Saudi media outlets are skeptical that the United States would broker such a deal.

In the first part of Netanyahu’s interview with Bloomberg released on Sunday, he said he would pause the rest of the judicial overhaul plan after changing the Judicial Selection Committee.

The U.S. Biden administration sees an Israel-Saudi normalization deal as a benefit to U.S. national security.

The Israel-Saudi deal would result in Riyadh providing a large aid package to Palestinian institutions in the West Bank, limiting Saudi relations with China, as well as helping to bring the civil war in Yemen to an end.

It is unclear where talks currently stand and what Israel’s involvement in them is.

Netanyahu has been seeking a normalization deal with the Saudis for some time and sees it as one of the top priorities of his new government. The prime minister views the deal as a way to end both the Arab-Israeli conflict and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

For his part, Netanyahu said he supports giving Palestinians “all the powers to govern themselves, but none of the powers to threaten Israel,” adding that, “it won’t be their own state, it will be an Iranian-controlled state.”

There is an “economic corridor of energy, transport, and communications,” running from Asia through the Arabian Peninsula and Israel to Europe, Netanyahu explained.

“We’re going to realize that,” he pledged, saying it would be “a pivot of history.”

“We’re going to realize that whether we have formal peace or not.”

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

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