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Palestinian Authority delegation to discuss potential Israel normalization deal with Saudis

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas is received by Deputy Amir of Makkah, Prince Badr Bin Sultan, as he arrives to attend the Arab League Summit in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, May 18, 2023. (Photo: Saudi Press Agency/Handout via REUTERS)

The Palestinian Authority is reportedly sending a delegation to Saudi Arabia in the near future for talks about Saudi demands for a potential normalization agreement with Israel.

Israel's Channel 13 news reported that senior Israeli officials are aware Jerusalem would need to offer tangible concessions to Ramallah to achieve any future diplomatic breakthrough with Saudi Arabia. The Palestinian Authority (PA) has firmly opposed becoming an Abraham Accords partner However, it appears that pragmatism may be pushing Ramallah to get involved in the process, rather than boycotting growing Arab-Israeli normalization.

Saudi Arabia has traditionally presented itself as the leader of the Muslim Arab world and the PA's influence on Saudi decision-making is likely limited.

In May, Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (MBS) told the Arab League Summit that Saudi Arabia supports the establishment of a new Arab state “Palestine” along the 1967 borders.

“We will not delay in providing assistance to the Palestinian people in recovering their lands, restoring their legitimate rights and establishing an independent state on the 1967 borders with East Jerusalem as its capital,” MBS said at the time.

The Saudi crown prince further claimed that “Palestine” remained the central issue in the Arab world.

“The Palestinian issue was and remains the central issue for Arab countries, and it is at the top of the kingdom’s priorities.”

However, in a recent Bloomberg interview, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said he doesn't believe the Arab-Israeli conflict would be a factor in stopping Saudi-Israeli normalization from happening.

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

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

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