Right before the October 7 attacks by Hamas on Israel followed by Israel’s declaration of war against the Palestinians resulting in a death toll of 10,5000+, Saudi Arabia and Israel were steering towards the establishment of ties despite their conflict of views over the Palestine issue.
Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman (MbS) reportedly asked the US for “security guarantees and access to civilian nuclear technology and advanced weapons in exchange for a deal.”
Moreover, Saudi diplomats asserted that Israel must concur with the establishment of a Palestinian state as defined in the 2002 Saudi Peace Initiative. And while this particular demand was rejected by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Jewish ministers in his government, a deal was almost at hand between the two countries.
However, after October 7, people in support of Palestine across the world, particularly the Muslim world, have demanded from Saudi Arabia to take a stand against the atrocities committed by Israel on Palestinian soil — to use their power to put an end to the attacks.
However, their concerns seem to have fallen on deaf ears.
The Saudi Minister of Investment, Khalid bin Abdulaziz al-Falih, has remarked that the Kingdom is still willing to consider normalising relations with Israel, depending on a peaceful solution to the Palestinian issue.
During a discussion session at the Bloomberg New Economy Forum held in Singapore, Falih responded to a question in regard to normalisation of ties between the two countries: “This matter was on the table, and it is still on the table, and it is clear that the recent withdrawal (from the talks) explains why Saudi Arabia is so determined to make a solution to the Palestinian conflict part of broader normalisation in [West Asia].”
When asked if Saudi Arabia would use economic devices like oil to push for a ceasefire in the Gaza Strip, he reportedly laughed and replied: “This is not on the table today. Saudi Arabia is trying to achieve peace through talks that seek peace.”
Falih also offered details of the three summits that Saudi Arabia is expected to host in the coming days which will be attended by Arab, African and Islamic countries, an effort to promote a “peaceful solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict”.
In 1973, Saudi Arabia imposed an oil embargo on the United States and other countries for their support of Israel in the Yom Kippur War against Egypt and Syria.
Saudi Arabia is again reassuring its allies that it will not use oil as a weapon to achieve ceasefire in Gaza and wants to normalise with Israel.— Ismailoğlu (@IsmailogluF) November 9, 2023
Here’s a reminder about 🇸🇦 using oil as a threat in 2018 when punitive measures were considered over the death of Jamal Khashoggi!… pic.twitter.com/aNyNDTYrCJ