Saudi Arabia warns US: Israeli invasion of Gaza could be catastrophic | ET REALITY

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An invasion could also fuel unrest in neighboring countries and could be particularly destabilizing for governments already struggling to contain discontent over economic pain or political repression, such as Bahrain, Egypt and Jordan.

Iran has long backed Hamas, and Iranian-backed regional militias hostile to Israel have threatened to open new fronts in the war, depending on Israel’s military response. Saudi Arabia is a potential target.

Since the war began, Saudi officials have again made specific calls for a substantial peace process between Israelis and Palestinians and for the creation of a Palestinian state with Jerusalem as its capital.

“If we are not willing to overcome all the difficulties, all the challenges, all the history involved in this issue, we will never have true peace and security in the region,” Prince Faisal bin Farhan, the Saudi Foreign Minister, said. to journalists this week.

Despite the escalation of violence, it appears that US and Saudi officials remain hopeful for a normalization deal with Israel.

Without that formal step, the limited ties that exist between the two countries, separated by a 22-mile drive through Jordan, have faded. remained largely clandestine.

The senators said they left Riyadh with the impression that Saudi leaders would still like to recognize Israel when the time is right.

American and Israeli officials often frame normalization as a way to help contain Iran.

Iran is Saudi Arabia’s most prominent regional rival. Prince Mohammed launched a disastrous Saudi-led military intervention in Yemen in 2015 with the aim of toppling the Iranian-backed Houthi rebels who nevertheless remain firmly in power there.

But the crown prince, who is racing to diversify the oil-dependent kingdom’s economy, has recently taken a less aggressive approach and sought to build bridges. Earlier this year, he reestablished diplomatic relations with Iran. Blumenthal, however, said a pact between Saudi Arabia and Israel seemed unlikely before Israel “concludes its operation.”

During the call tuesdayPrince Mohammed and Mr. Biden “affirmed the importance of working toward sustainable peace between Israelis and Palestinians as soon as the crisis subsides,” the White House said in its statement.

Prince Mohammed stressed the urgent need to stop military operations and return to a peace process to ensure that Palestinians “obtain their legitimate rights,” the Saudi government said in its own statement. No statement mentioned a Palestinian state.

The potential deal that Saudi officials had been working on before the war included a path to statehood for the Palestinians, the person with knowledge of the talks said.

Framing the prospect of building ties with Israel as a way to gain greater rights for Palestinians could allow Prince Mohammed to limit popular backlash in his own country, where hostility toward Israel and support for Palestinians is widespread.

In response to questions about the Saudi warnings, the State Department said that “although U.S. diplomatic efforts are currently focused on the immediate crisis, we remain committed to the long-term goal of a more stable, prosperous and prosperous Middle East region.” integrated, including through normalization and advancement of a two-state solution.”

However, before the Hamas attacks, American officials and analysts in Washington briefed on the talks said that discussions between the United States and Saudi Arabia had focused primarily on Saudi security demands from the United States. Those officials and analysts said there had been no detailed discussion on the Palestinian issue.

An essay by Jake SullivanThe US national security adviser, posted on the Foreign Affairs site this week, said US officials were “committed to a two-state solution.”

But editors had allowed Sullivan to rewrite an earlier version of the essay before the Oct. 7 attacks. He Original version, published in the print edition of the magazine, does not mention Palestinian nationality. He was simply saying that while tensions between Israel and the Palestinians persisted, the Biden administration had “de-escalated the crises in Gaza.”

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