US Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman warns of Hezbollah presence in southern Syria
Report: Arab Gulf states to present Israel with proposal to normalize relationsAccording to The Wall Street Journal, the Arab Gulf states are ready to normalize their relations with Israel if the Israeli government stops building in the West Bank settlements. “We no longer see Israel as an enemy, but a potential opportunity,” a senior Arab official close to the matter told the newspaper.
The Arab Gulf states, led by Saudi Arabia, stated that they would improve their ties with Israel if Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu commits to advancing the peace process with the Palestinians, according to The Wall Street Journal. The American newspaper cited sources who are familiar with the matter.
The report surfaced just a week before U.S. President Donald Trump’s trip to Saudi Arabia, which will begin his first diplomatic visit abroad. Trump will then fly to Israel and meet with Israeli leaders. He will also travel to Bethlehem in order to sit down with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas.
According to the report, the potential normalization process with Israel would include the establishment of telecommunication lines between the countries and the cancellation of trade prohibitions between the countries. In addition, the Arab states would allow Israeli planes to fly over their airspace. In exchange, Israel would need to stop all construction in the settlements and lift the trade restrictions on Gaza.
The Arab states’ discussion paper, which has not been released yet, is supposed to prompt Trump to advance a deal that will bring the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict to an end. The report also stated that Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates have informed the U.S. and Israel of their proposal but the Israeli Prime Minister’s Office has yet to comment on the matter.
The new proposal illustrates the strengthening of ties between Israel and the Arab Gulf states amid the fight against Iran and ISIS. “We no longer see Israel as an enemy, but a potential opportunity,” a senior Arab official close to the matter told the newspaper.
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