Saudi Arabi has told the US administration of its decision to suspend all dialogues on normalisation of relations with Israel due to its unwillingness to make any concessions to the Palestinians, Saudi newspaper Elaph quoted an Israeli official as saying.
According to the report, Riyadh forwarded the message through the US. It said that the “extremist” nature of Israel’s right-wing government led by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is diminishing the possibility of addressing the issues of Palestinians.
The report said that Israel was “confused” by the move as it was convinced that the Saudi government was prepared to move ahead with normalising ties without taking into account the progress on the Palestinian issue.
It went on to add that Saudi Arabia was put off from a potential deal after Netanyahu accepted the demands of far-right ministers Bezalel Smotrich and Itamar Ben Gvir to not make any concessions to the Palestinians. Without progress with Ramallah, there could be no progress with Riyadh, it stated.
Last month, Netanyahu ceded that he was open to gestures to Palestinians if the normalisation deal with Saudi Arabia depended on it. He hinted that he would not let coalition members block an agreement with Saudi Arabia.
Foreign Minister Eli Cohen expressed similar views during an interview with Elaph, which is often seen as a channel for public communication between Israel and Riyadh.
US officials see a potential deal between Israel and Saudi Arabia as possible after the administration of former President Donald Trump reached similar agreements between Israel and Morocco, Sudan, Bahrain, and the United Arab Emirates.