Israel priority to normalize ties with Arabs before peace with Palestine: Netanyahu

Middle East Monitor  /  February 1, 2023

Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, said his priority is to normalize Israel’s relations with Arab countries before peace with the Palestinians, Anadolu News Agency report.

“I think that the way we’re going to succeed is not let the Palestinian tail wag the body of the Arab world,” Netanyahu told CNN in an interview published on Wednesday.

The Israeli Premier, however, said he is “open” to negotiations with Palestinians and to cooperate with them on security matters, but not much else.

“I’m certainly willing to have them have all the powers that they need to govern themselves, but none of the powers that can threaten us,” he added.

Netanyahu said he was able to ink four normalization deals with Arab countries – under the Abraham Accords – which was double the number of peace agreements made by his predecessors over 70 years.

“If we make peace with Saudi Arabia – it depends on the Saudi leadership – and bring, effectively, the Arab-Israeli conflict to an end, I think we will circle back to the Palestinians and get a workable peace with the Palestinians,” he added.

Under the US sponsorship, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Bahrain signed agreements to normalize their ties with Israel in September 2020. The move was followed later by Sudan and Morocco.

Before 2020, Israel had two peace deals with Egypt in 1979 and with Jordan in 1994.