Arab leaders 'indifferent' to annexation of West Bank: Israeli newspaper

Arab leaders 'indifferent' to annexation of West Bank: Israeli newspaper
Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and several Gulf states do not plan to take action over Israel's plan to annex large swathes of the occupied West Bank, according to media reports.
2 min read
06 July, 2020
Saudi Arabia does not plan to take action against Israel [Getty]

High-ranking officials in Saudi Arabia, Egypt and other Gulf states have told their Israeli counterparts that their countries do not plan to take action against Israel over its annexation plans, an Israeli newspaper reported on Sunday.

The Arab states will only respond to Israel's annexation of the West Bank with verbal condemnations, Israel Hayom – a national newspaper close to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu – reported, citing diplomatic sources. 

Any further action from these Arab states will only come if their respective publics' response to the move was one of outrage and protest, the paper added. 

So far, only Kind Abdullah of Jordan has staunchly opposed Israel's annexation plans, the report said. The monarch believes that the annexation could spark riots that may threaten Jordan's stability.

Last month, reports surfaced over secret meetings between the head of Israel's intelligence and several Arab leaders.

Mossad Chief Yossi Cohen will meet with Arab leaders to assess and attempt to soften their position on Israel's plans to annex large swaths of the occupied West Bank,
according to reports by Israeli media.

Israel's plans to annex approximately one third of the West Bank was greenlighted by US President Donald Trump's so-called "Deal of the Century", despite global criticism over the illegal move. The plan also envisages the creation of a severely restricted Palestinian state. 

The plans have drawn international condemnation and the Palestinians are trying to mobilise support, particularly in Europe, to pressure Israel to abandon the project.

Arab states have long seen a settlement of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict as their condition for normalisation of relations with Israel.

Jordan and Egypt are the only Arab countries to hold official relations with Israel, but Gulf states such as Saudi Arabia and the UAE have been warming to the boycotted country, recently, amid shared concerns over Iran.

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