Netanyahu Would Give Up Annexation Pledge for Saudi-Israel Deal

Incoming Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu would reportedly suspend plans for annexing the West Bank as part of his push for a normalization deal with Saudi Arabia, Israeli media reported over the weekend.

According to the Hebrew daily Yediot Aharonot Israel is already holding talks with the United States and Saudi Arabia with respect to a normalization deal between the Jewish state and that Gulf country which would make the Kingdom the fifth Arab country to normalize ties with Israel under the auspices of the 2020 Abraham Accords.

Israel had to suspend his plans to annex West Bank settlements to entice the first four countries – including Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates- to normalize ties with it and Netanyahu pledged to similarly suspend annexation plans in exchange for a Saudi deal as well, Yediot Aharonot said.

Netanyahu expressed in an interview with the US-based Jewish Insider on Friday his hopes to bring about a full, formal peace with Saudi Arabia as they’ve done with the other Gulf states.

He said he’ll be leaving the final decision to the Saudi leadership to decide that, pointing out that he hopes they will accept it as part of a very important goal- to bring an end to the Arab-Israeli conflict, Netanyahu told “Jewish Insider”.

Netanyahu’s promise to advance annexation policies in the West Bank – which has yet to be published or finalized -is part of his coalition agreement with the Religious Zionist party.

Previously on Saturday, the Times of Israel reported that Netanyahu has the support of the far-right elements of his incoming government which has agreed not to hinder his efforts to reach a normalization agreement with Saudi Arabia.

As he has stated several times since that has been one of Netanyahu’s greatest goals since signing the historic Abraham Accords in September 2020.

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