Netanyahu rejects US-Saudi plan for Palestinian state - report

Joe Biden and Benjamin Netanyahu credit: Haim Zach GPO
Joe Biden and Benjamin Netanyahu credit: Haim Zach GPO

The Israeli prime minister has rejected a plan for a Saudi-led Arab coalition to rebuild Gaza and establish a Palestinian state, amid US frustration, NBC reports.

The US is putting Israel under pressure to consent to a "day after" plan for the Gaza Strip that the Biden administration is promoting together with Saudi Arabia, NBC reports.

The plan revolves around an Israeli commitment to promote a Palestinian state, which Washington says would be ruled by a new Palestinian leadership. The US plan has been formed together with a group of five Arab states led by Saudi Arabia. Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman has proposed normalizing relations with Israel, as part of an agreement to reconstruct the Gaza Strip, providing he receives a commitment from Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for a path to a Palestinian state.

Netanyahu has reportedly rejected the plan due to the required commitment to establishing a Palestinian state. "The ball is in the prime minister's court," a source familiar with the discussions between Netanyahu and US Secretary of State Antony Blinken told NBC.

So far Netanyahu has only agreed with the Americans not to attack Hezbollah in Lebanon, as the tension between US President Joe Biden and Netanyahu increases.

At the beginning of the war Netanyahu and Biden spoke regularly but now the US administration is frustrated by Israel's continuing use of force. Despite the war, Biden and Netanyahu have now not spoken for three weeks and according to NBC their last conversation ended abruptly over an Israeli dispute to offset hundreds of millions of dollars from taxes to the Palestinian Authority.

The Biden administration apparently understands that it won't reach agreements with Netanyahu and senior US officials told NBC that "he won't be there forever," and so Blinken has met separately with other members of Israel's war cabinet as well as former Prime Minister Yair Lapid.

It is reasonable to assume that the UAE would be part of the plan, especially after normalization between Israel and Saudi Arabia, and it is not certain that Qatar would want to continue investing in the Gaza Strip after losing its complete hegemony there. At the same time, despite Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's rapprochement with moderate Gulf countries for investments in his faltering country's economy, Israel would likely be happy for him to stay away from influence in the Gaza Strip, due to the extensive Hamas activity that he allows in his country.

Published by Globes, Israel business news - - on January 18, 2024.

© Copyright of Globes Publisher Itonut (1983) Ltd., 2024.

Joe Biden and Benjamin Netanyahu credit: Haim Zach GPO
Joe Biden and Benjamin Netanyahu credit: Haim Zach GPO
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