Netanyahu pushing for Saudi-Israel deal with annexation pledge - report

Netanyahu would reportedly suspend plans for annexing the West Bank in exchange for a Saudi deal as well.

Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu istens prior to participating in the signing of the Abraham Accords at the White House in Washington, U.S., September 15, 2020 (photo credit: REUTERS//TOM BRENNER)
Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu istens prior to participating in the signing of the Abraham Accords at the White House in Washington, U.S., September 15, 2020
(photo credit: REUTERS//TOM BRENNER)

Incoming Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's pledge to advance annexation policies in the West Bank is part of his push for a normalization deal with Saudi Arabia the Israeli media reported over the weekend.

The Hebrew daily Yediot Aharonot reported talks were underway between Israel, the United States and Saudi Arabia with respect to a normalization deal between the Jewish state and that Gulf country.

Such a deal would make Saudi Arabia the fifth Arab country to normalize ties with Israel under the auspices of the 2020 Abraham Accords.

Netanyahu will suspend plans to annex West Bank settlements in exchange for peace deal

The first four countries normalized ties with Israel in exchange for its suspension of plans to annex West Bank settlements. Netanyahu would similarly suspend plans for annexation in exchange for a Saudi deal as well, Yediot Aharonot said.

 SAUDI CROWN Prince Mohammed bin Salman and US President Joe Biden meet in Jeddah last Friday. (credit: Saudi Royal Court/Reuters) SAUDI CROWN Prince Mohammed bin Salman and US President Joe Biden meet in Jeddah last Friday. (credit: Saudi Royal Court/Reuters)

Netanyahu's promise to advance annexation policies in the West Bank is part of his coalition agreement with the Religious Zionist party, which has yet to be published or finalized.

In an interview with the US-based Jewish Insider published on Friday, Netanyahu said, "I hope to bring about a full, formal peace [with Saudi Arabia] as we’ve done with the other Gulf states like Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates. 

"It’s up to the Saudi leadership to decide that. I hope they will. And I intend to explore that alongside my other main goals. This is a very important goal, because if we have peace with Saudi Arabia, we are effectively going to bring an end to the Arab-Israeli conflict," Netanyahu told Jewish Insider.