‘No diplomatic relations with Israel without Palestinian state’: Saudi Arabia

Riyadh: The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) on Wednesday, February 7, affirmed that there will be no diplomatic relations with Israel unless an independent Palestinian state is recognised on the 1967 borders with East Jerusalem, and Israeli “aggression” on the Gaza Strip stops.

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The statement comes after John Kirby, White House National Security spokesperson, on Tuesday, February 6 said that the Biden administration has received positive feedback from Saudi Arabia and Israel regarding their willingness to continue normalization discussions, Reuters reported.

In a statement, Saudi Arabian Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA) said Kingdom has always been steadfast on the Palestinian issue and the necessity that the Palestinian people obtain their legitimate rights.

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“The Kingdom has communicated its firm position to the US administration that there will be no diplomatic relations with Israel unless an independent Palestinian state is recognized on the 1967 borders with East Jerusalem as its capital, and that the Israeli aggression on the Gaza Strip stops and all Israeli occupation forces withdraw from the Gaza Strip.”

The Kingdom has urged the permanent members of the UN Security Council to expedite the recognition of the Palestinian state.

The normalization of relations between Israel and Saudi Arabia has been a topic of discussion since the Abraham Accords were established by UAE and Bahrain in 2020.

The Palestinians are advocating for a state that encompasses Gaza, the Israeli-occupied West Bank, and east Jerusalem, territories Israel gained during the 1967 Middleast war.

Israel considers Jerusalem as its capital and the West Bank as its Jewish heartland, constructing numerous settlements, despite the breakdown of peace talks 15 years ago.

Israel initiated military operations in Gaza following a surprise attack by Hamas militants on October 7, 2023, that resulted in the deaths of around 1,200 people and the capture of 240 hostages.

Since then, at least 27,478 Palestinians, primarily women and children, have been killed and 66,835 others injured in Gaza.

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