Saudi Arabia is considering resuming aid to the Palestinian Authority as part of the Saudi effort to lay the groundwork for a future recognition agreement with Israel, according to a Wall Street Journal report this week.
Officials in the Kingdom are seeking the agreement of PA President Mahmoud Abbas before making any such deal as the Palestinian cause holds significant sway in the Arab world and the support of the PA would defend the deal from pushback in the Arab street.
“Saudi-Palestinian relations are strong, and we have confidence in them”Riyad al-Maliki, Palestinian Foreign Minister
Palestinian leaders have been reticent about all such deals after having been taken by surprise by the 2020 Abraham Accords.
The WSJ reported on plans for a senior delegation from the PA to be sent to Saudi Arabia at the beginning of September to pressure the Saudis to include stipulations for a Palestinian state in any agreement with Israel.
Once the Saudi Kingdom was a major supporter of the Palestinians, supplying over $5 billion since Israel’s 1948 War of Independence. However that support evaporated during the Trump presidency in the US, falling to zero by 2021.
Abbas met with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman in April when the prince first pitched restoring aid on condition of action being taken against militant groups raising tensions in the West Bank. Bin Salman did assure Abbas that no steps would be taken that undermine the creation of a future Palestinian state.