Saudi Arabia reportedly offered financial aid to Palestinian Authority for normalisation with Israel
The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia reportedly offered to resume financial aid to the Fatah-led Palestinian Authority in a bid to take steps toward a normalisation agreement with Israel, according to the US newspaper Wall Street Journal.
Senior Palestinian and Saudi officials informed the newspaper that "the sudden decision issued by Saudi Arabia as it is making serious efforts to overcome the obstacles that prevent the establishment of diplomatic relations with Israel."
Saudi Arabia is trying to secure the support of Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas to open relations with Israel, provide more legitimacy for any final agreement and thwart any accusations that the kingdom is sacrificing Palestinian efforts to establish an independent state to achieve its own goals, Saudi officials reported to the newspaper.
The officials added that the Palestinian Authority will send a high-level delegation to Saudi Arabia next week to discuss what Riyadh can do regarding talks with the occupation to "boost dwindling hopes for the establishment of a Palestinian state."
The newspaper also quoted officials saying that the Saudi Crown Prince, Mohammed bin Salman, "provided guarantees that the Kingdom will eventually resume its funding of the Palestinian Authority if Abbas is able to control the security situation."
The Wall Street Journal report added, "Riyadh wants the Palestinians to adopt strict measures against armed fighters in the West Bank and curb violence with Israelis."
In turn, the Palestinian Authority sent Saudi Arabia a list of proposals for "concessions" to the Palestinians in the occupied West Bank and Jerusalem that Riyadh can put in front of Israel in exchange for an agreement to normalise relations, according to Israeli outlets.
Transferring parts of "Area C" in the occupied West Bank to the civilian control of the Palestinian Authority, opening an American consulate in Jerusalem, and resuming negotiations with Israel regarding establishing a Palestinian state were among the Palestinian list issued by the PA.
The Palestinian requests were submitted to Saudi Arabia by Hussain al-Sheikh, the Secretary of the Executive Committee of the Palestine Liberation Organization, who led consultations on this issue with Riyadh three months ago, according to Israeli and American outlets.
Palestinian security sources told The New Arab that the US Joe Biden administration has already been informed by the Palestinian requests.
However, Saudi Arabia is still worried about reaching a final normalisation agreement with Israel, and this is the main reason that pushed Saudi to resume its funds for the PA not to be accused of giving up on the Palestinian cause.
Hossam Al-Dajani, a Gaza-based political analyst, told TNA, "It is too early to say that the chances of success of normalisation between Saudi Arabia and Israel are possible, based on the Saudi demands and conditions."
"Saudi Arabia demanded Israel to allow the Palestinians to establish their independent state, and it is not easy to accept such a difficult demand by Israel in light of the Zionist rejection," he added.
Saudi Arabia does not recognise Israel and has not joined the Abraham Accords concluded in 2020 with the mediation of the United States, under which Israel established official relations with the UAE and Bahrain.