A Saudi-owned newspaper reported Sunday that the nation has told the Biden administration it is freezing US-brokered efforts to normalize relations with Israel because Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s hardline government is unwilling to make any concessions to the Palestinians.
An Israeli and an American official both said the report was false.
According to the report in the Elaph newspaper, supposedly citing officials in Netanyahu’s office, the US has informed Israel of the Saudi stance. It said that Israel was “confused” by the move, believing that the Saudis were prepared to move ahead with normalizing ties without linking it to the progress on the Palestinian issue.
The report by the London-based paper’s Israel correspondent singled out the insistence by far-right ministers Bezalel Smotrich and Itamar Ben Gvir that Israel not make any concessions to the Palestinians, adding that without progress with Ramallah, there could be no progress with Riyadh.