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Report: Jewish-American group visits Saudi Arabia to advance Israeli normalization

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
Saudi Arabia's crown prince and de-facto ruler Mohammed bin Salman arriving to attend a session at the annual Future Investment Initiative (FII) conference in the Saudi capital Riyadh, on October 26, 2021. (File photo AFP)

A Jewish-American group has visited the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia recently in order to advance the normalization of ties between the kingdom and the Israeli regime, with a member of the group predicting a deal in the coming months or year.

The delegation, consisting of 20 Jewish-American leaders, met with senior Saudi officials, including at least six government ministers and top representatives of the Saudi royal house, according to the Israeli media.

The visit came at the invitation of the Saudis and with the support of the Biden administration, after a visit to the UAE – the first Arab country that normalized its relations with Israel in 2020 – in order to strengthen bilateral ties.

“The Saudis are preparing their citizens for normalization with Israel,” said Jewish-American businessman Phil Rosen, a member of the delegation, the Israeli Ynet news website reported.

Rosen also said he “would not be surprised if we see normalization between Saudi Arabia and Israel in the coming months or year.”

Under US-pushed normalization deals, a number of Arab countries, including the UAE, Bahrain, Sudan, and Morocco, have agreed to establish official diplomatic ties with Israel.

The normalization accords, however, have been denounced by Palestinians the people of the region as “treacherous”, and sparked protests in the countries that signed them.

In recent weeks, Israel has approved plans for more than 1,700 new illegal units in the East al-Quds settlements of Givat Hamatos and Pisgat Zeev.

In a statement on Wednesday, UN experts condemned the regime’s illegal expansion of settlements in the West Bank and East al-Quds as “the engine of the occupation” and hold Israel responsible for a wide range of rights violations against the Palestinian people.

‘Saudis waiting for right moment’

According to Rosen, Riyadh has been holding covert talks with Washington about joining the so-called Abraham accords and without the kingdom’s blessings, the UAE and Bahrain would not have agreed to normalize their relations with the regime in Tel Aviv.

He said the Saudis are taking various “small steps” towards normalization and are “waiting for the right moment.”

Meanwhile, Saudi Arabia has officially stated that it will not normalize its relations with Israel without progress in talks between Israelis and Palestinians.

“In my opinion, the Saudis will not condition normalizations on peace with the Palestinians,” said Rosen, a personal friend of former Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu, under whom the deals were inked.

He also suggested that the Saudis were ready to move forward with a normalization deal with or without the Biden administration.

“We hope and believe that our visit to Saudi Arabia will give a boost to the Biden administration to continue to help advance the Abraham Accords,” he said. “This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and it is important that the United States continues to help.”

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