Saudi, UAE to continue rapprochement with Israel despite Mideast conflict

Riyadh: Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates intend to continue economic and diplomatic rapprochement with Israel despite the escalation of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, US news website Semafor reported on Friday, citing Arab sources.
In 2020, the United States launched a process aimed at normalizing relations between Israel and Arab countries. As a result, a set of documents known as the Abraham Accords was signed. The UAE, Bahrain and Morocco joined the agreement. However, the Palestinian authorities criticized the Arab countries’ moves to normalize relations with Israel at the expense of preserving the rights of the autonomy region’s residents.
The news outlet reported that Saudi Arabia and the UAE are key states in the Middle East, and they intend to pursue rapprochement with Israel regardless of the backlash from the Arab-Muslim world amid Israel’s actions in Gaza. Saudi Defense Minister Khalid bin Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud and UAE officials have reiterated their interest in continuing normalization with Israel over the past two weeks, the sources said.
The news website added that if Riyadh and Abu Dhabi did not change their minds, they could become the Biden administration’s main partners in forming a new Palestinian government if Israel succeeds in evicting Palestinian movement Hamas from Gaza.
On October 7, Palestinian group Hamas launched a surprise large-scale rocket attack against Israel from the Gaza Strip and breached the border, killing and abducting people in neighboring Israeli communities. Israel launched retaliatory strikes and ordered a complete blockade of the Gaza Strip, home to more than 2 million people, cutting off supplies of water, food, and fuel. On October 27, Israel launched a large-scale ground incursion inside the Gaza Strip to eliminate Hamas fighters and rescue the hostages. The escalation of the conflict has resulted in the deaths of around 1,400 people in Israel and over 9,000 in the Gaza Strip.

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