Palestinian Authority presents terms ahead of US-Saudi talks over Israel normalisation

Palestinian Authority presents terms ahead of US-Saudi talks over Israel normalisation
The presentation of terms by the Palestinian Authority comes as the US continues its intensive diplomatic push to bring about a normalisation deal between Saudi Arabia and Israel.
2 min read
07 September, 2023
The PA and Saudi Arabia have engaged in talks on normalisation [Getty-file photo]

The Palestinian Authority has presented terms to the US ahead of upcoming talks between Saudi Arabia and the US over a potential normalisation deal with Israel.

The terms presented to US Assistant Secretary of State Barbara Leaf in Amman last week involve securing concessions from Israel, and guarantees from Washington and Riyadh in return for PA involvement in the normalisation process, according to the BBC.

They include the transfer of parts of the occupied West Bank currently marked as Area C and under full Israeli control to the governance of the PA and the cessation of Israeli settlement growth in the occupied West Bank.

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The PA also seeks the resumption of Saudi financial support, the reopening of the US consulate to the PA in Jerusalem, and the resumption of US-led negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians.

However, the BBC  reported that US officials view the terms as an "overreach" by the PA.

The presentation of the terms last week comes as Palestinian officials arrived in Riyadh on Tuesday for bilateral talks with Saudi officials. US officials were in Riyadh around the same time to meet with their Saudi counterparts over the normalisation process.

The Saudi-Palestinian talks appear to be a bid by the PA to retain Saudi support ahead of any talks with Israel, with a Palestinian source telling The New Arab's sister site Al-Araby Al-Jadeed that Riyadh was maintaining its support for an independent Palestinian state as part of any normalisation deal.


It is believed that PA's intelligence chief Majed Faraj and Secretary-General of the Palestinian Liberation Organisation Hussein Al-Sheikh attended the talks with Saudi National Security Adviser Musaed Al-Aiban.

As well as bringing up the creation of an independent Palestinian state, which Saudi Arabia still says is a prerequisite for any Israel normalisation deal, Saudi officials have sought numerous guarantees from the US.

These include a defence treaty, access to more sophisticated weaponry, and help with a civil nuclear programme that would include domestic uranium enrichment.

According to The Times of Israel, Israeli officials say a Saudi-US defence treaty is the main issue holding back progress in the normalisation talks, although there are numerous other obstacles, with Israel balking at the suggestion about Riyadh's planned civilian nuclear programme.

Israel itself has long-standing and secretive nuclear activities and is believed to possess at least 80 nuclear warheads.

The US officials have held many meetings with their Israeli and Saudi counterparts in a bid to secure a normalisation agreement between the two countries, who have never had diplomatic relations.