Hopes of a peace deal between Saudi Arabia and Israel are on hold following a reportin the Wall Street Journal that – according to US officials - the U.S. and Saudi Arabia have agreed on the broad contours of a deal for Saudi Arabia to recognize Israel in exchange for concessions to the Palestinians, US security guarantees and civilian nuclear help.
These U.S. officials have expressed cautious optimism that, in the next 9 to 12 months, they can hammer out the finer details of what would be the most momentous Middle East peace deal in a generation. But they warned that they face long odds.
They certainly do.
The report claims:
The Saudis are also seeking significant concessions from Israel that would help promote the creation of a Palestinian state.
If the creation of a separate Palestinian state between Israel and Jordan is going to be a deal breaker for an Israeli-Saudi agreement then that deal will not happen, certainly whilst Benjamin Netanyahu is Israel's Prime Minister.
This would involve shredding the Hashemite Kingdom of Palestine solution (HKOPS) published on 8 June 2022, authored by Ali Shihabi, a confidante of Saudi Crown Prince and Prime Minister Mohammed Bin Salman (MBS), which calls for the merger of Jordan, Gaza and part of Judea and Samaria (West Bank) into one territorial entity to be named The Hashemite Kingdom of Palestine.
HKOPS trashes what has been Saudi and Arab League policy calling for a two-state solution since 2002.
The Wall Street Journal report continues:
But the crown prince has told aides that he isn't ready to establish full diplomatic relations with Israel similar to those with the United Arab Emirates, which signed a deal in 2020, according to Saudi officials.
The crown prince told his advisers that he was in no rush, especially with the current hard-line coalition government in Israel that opposes creation of an independent Palestinian state, they said.
The Wall Street Journal should ask MBS to clarify how he can reconcile:
- His current statement about the need for an independent Palestinian state with
- His failure to reject or disassociate himself from HKOPS which shreds the need for an independent Palestinian state
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