TEL AVIV – Israeli authorities are reportedly working hard to arrange a meeting between Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman in the kingdom, as the Tel Aviv regime is bringing out in the open its relations with several Arab countries after years of clandestine contacts.
The Hebrew-language Israel Defense magazine, citing sources requesting not to be named, reported on Thursday that efforts are underway for such a meeting to happen in the Saudi capital city of Riyadh before Israeli legislative elections, which are set for March 2.
The report added that the expected meeting falls within the Israeli regime’s attempts to normalize relations with Arab states, which commenced in Oman and then spread to Morocco and Sudan. The attempts are apparently backed by the White House.
Israel Defense further highlighted that Washington wants to advance President Donald Trump’s so-called deal of the century on the decades-old Israeli-Palestinian conflict, which could greatly help him in the US presidential race.
The magazine went on to say that there is a desire among Israeli officials to promote a round of communications with Arab countries, which may help Netanyahu’s election campaign.
The report comes as General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, the head of Sudan’s ruling council, and Netanyahu recently met in Entebbe, Uganda. The meeting had reportedly been arranged by the United Arab Emirates.
It was only made public when the Israeli premier took to Twitter to claim that an agreement had been reached with Sudan to “begin cooperation that will lead to the normalization of relations.”
However, the Sovereign Council of Sudan — a joint civilian-military cabinet running state affairs since September 2019 — said the cabinet had not been informed in advance about the meeting and only learned of it through media reports.
Last month, senior Saudi cleric and former justice minister, Sheikh Muhammad bin Abdul Karim bin Abdulaziz al-Issa, paid an official visit to the former Nazi concentration camp, Auschwitz, in Poland. A delegation of American Jewish Committee (AJC) officials was in the company as well.
The CEO of the AJC, David Harris, described Issa’s visit to the site as highly significant, claiming that the trip represented “the most senior delegation” of Muslim scholars to visit Auschwitz ever.
Back on July 22, 2019, angry Palestinians jeered and cursed a Saudi blogger known to be a huge fan of establishing formal ties between Israel and Saudi Arabia.
One video clip posted on Twitter at the time showed Mohammed Saud being cursed and jeered as he was visiting the al-Aqsa Mosque compound in the Old City of Jerusalem al-Quds.
He was part of a six-person media delegation from the Arab world, including representatives from Jordan, who were in the occupied Palestinian territories at the invitation of the Israeli foreign ministry.
Palestinians protesting his visit called him a “traitor,” “animal” and “Zionist trash,” and also told him to “go to a synagogue” instead of praying at a mosque.
Another video clip showed plastic chairs and sticks being thrown at him as he walked in the market in the Old City.
Last May, Lebanese daily Arabic-language newspaper al-Akhbar said the Saudi crown prince had offered Palestinian Authority chief Mahmoud Abbas 10 billion dollars in return for accepting Trump’s controversial proposal for peace between the Israelis and Palestinians, dubbed “the deal of the century.”
Akhbar noted that Abbas had turned down the offer, saying supporting the deal would be “the end of his political life.”
Earlier last year, delegates from Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Egypt at a meeting of Arab states reportedly opposed bids condemning the normalization of relations with the Israeli regime.
Russia’s RT Arabic television news network reported in March 2019 that Abdullah ibn Muhammad Al ash-Sheikh, the speaker of Saudi Arabia’s Consultative Assembly, together with his Emirati and Egyptian counterparts had opposed a paragraph in the final communiqué of the 29th Conference of the Arab Inter-Parliamentary Union in the Jordanian capital city of Amman, which demanded an end to efforts aimed at normalizing ties with Israel and condemned all forms of rapprochement with the occupying regime.
Be Part of Quality Journalism
Quality journalism takes a lot of time, money and hard work to produce and despite all the hardships we still do it. Our reporters and editors are working overtime in Kashmir and beyond to cover what you care about, break big stories, and expose injustices that can change lives. Today more people are reading Kashmir Observer than ever, but only a handful are paying while advertising revenues are falling fast.