U.S. diplomats have obtained assurances from Palestinian officials that they will neither publicly reject nor undermine the White House-promoted normalization talks between Saudi Arabia and Israel. A diplomat from the U.S. State Department told The Media Line that the Palestinian Authority has pledged not to publicly criticize any potential normalization deal with Israel, to avoid embarrassing Saudi Arabia. An American official, speaking on condition of anonymity due to the sensitive nature of the subject, indicated that the Biden Administration was working closely with Saudi Arabia. They aim to develop a financial and political package intended to placate the Palestinians and prevent a response similar to that generated by the 2020 Abraham Accords, which established diplomatic ties between Israel, the United Arab Emirates, and Bahrain.
The diplomat confirmed that talks are centered around a “generous financial package that will lift the Palestinian economy out of its current state.”
“Saudi Arabia is a huge country with enormous political weight and massive natural resources, and we have no chance standing against it. Therefore, we’re requesting inclusion in their negotiations with the Americans”
“Saudi Arabia is a huge country with enormous political weight and massive natural resources, and we have no chance standing against it. Therefore, we’re requesting inclusion in their negotiations with the Americans,” a Palestinian Authority official in Ramallah familiar with the situation told The Media Line.
Securing Palestinian approval is crucial as it would eliminate a significant obstacle, paving the way for substantive discussions aimed at a landmark agreement.
“The Palestinians have no option but to tag along hoping that they can cut a good deal now that they have been asked to present their conditions. They cannot afford to object because normalization is going to happen regardless”
“The Palestinians have no option but to tag along hoping that they can cut a good deal now that they have been asked to present their conditions. They cannot afford to object because normalization is going to happen regardless. So, they hope they can get something substantial this time and improve their current position,” Jordanian political analyst Osama Al Sharif told The Media Line.
Palestinian approval or acquiescence would give Saudi Arabia the legitimate cover it needs to proceed with potential normalization talks with Israel.
Nour Odeh, a political analyst based in Ramallah, told The Media Line that in exchange for Saudi normalization, the Palestinians can expect financial aid, projects, and investments, but limited political gains. “Thus, Riyadh will try to buy the consent of the PA,” she said.
Odeh does not foresee an imminent deal on the horizon. She adds that, given the current Israeli government, Saudi Arabia’s pursuit of normalization “makes no sense. I’m unsure if this path to normalization is politically wise.”
U.S. President Joe Biden is the catalyst behind these diplomatic efforts.
He recently sent three of his senior advisers to Riyadh for a reported meeting with Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, commonly known as MBS. Their goal was to “discuss bilateral and regional matters, including initiatives to advance a common vision for a more peaceful, secure, prosperous, and stable Middle East region interconnected with the world,” the White House said.