As rumors about the normalization of relations between Israel and Saudi Arabia within the framework of a great agreement between this Arab country and the United States became optimistic statements by its leaders, the dilemma of the Palestinian president, Abu Mazen, gained strength: stay on the sidelines and criticize or participate in some way in the process to try to extract the most for his people.
The visit this Tuesday to Ramallah of the first ambassador appointed by Saudi Arabia to the Palestinian National Authority (PNA), Nayef Al-Sudairi, and the recent trip of three important emissaries to Riyadh confirm that Abu Mazen opts for the most pragmatic option. That is to say, strengthen ties with Saudi Arabia to ensure that include the Palestinian cause as a requirement in the agreement that is being simmered in Washington. Abu Mazen does not repeat the 2020 formula when he launched a harsh attack against the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Morocco and Sudan for having normalized its relations with Israel.
In this way, the veteran the president He will go from being a critical but more isolated observer to trying to be part of a game in which the Saudis have good cards. He change of strategy It is not only because it is an Arab and Muslim country more powerful but because Abu Mazen is facing a critical moment: nine years of paralysis of negotiations with Israel, 16 years of control of the Gaza Strip by its internal rival (the Islamist group Hamas), the growth of construction in the colonies in the territory occupied in the ’67 war, the most right-wing government in the history of Israel and the worst instability in the West Bank since the Second Intifada .
Abu Mazen hopes that the Saudi crown prince Mohamed bin Salman (MBS) condition official rapprochement with Israel on “significant steps” to the Palestinians. The ‘compensation’ would not be limited only to major economic measures as the Israeli prime minister would like, Benjamin Netanyahubut it would not reach the solution either. two states although this continues to be Riyadh’s objective as Al-Sudairi recalled.
“We are working to establish a Palestinian state with East Jerusalem as its capital. Riyadh has a great interest in the Palestinian issue and its solution on the basis of international legitimacy,” said the Saudi diplomat in Ramallah, where he rescued his country’s peace initiative in 2002 based on the principle “peace in exchange for territories”. Regarding the possible normalization with Israel, he has limited himself to commenting: “It is normal for there to be peace and stability among nations.”