ISRAEL AT WAR - DAY 141

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Arab ministers begin meeting in Riyadh aimed at rallying around unified stance on Gaza war

Jacob Magid is The Times of Israel's US bureau chief

Ministers from the Palestinian Authority, the UAE, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Jordan and Egypt hold a meeting on the Gaza war in Riyadh on February 8, 2024. (Screen capture/X)
Ministers from the Palestinian Authority, the UAE, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Jordan and Egypt hold a meeting on the Gaza war in Riyadh on February 8, 2024. (Screen capture/X)

Top ministers from Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Jordan, Egypt and the Palestinian Authority have begun their “consultative” meeting in Riyadh aimed at rallying around a unified stance regarding the war in Gaza as well as political initiatives for when the fighting ends.

The Arab ministers are slated to discuss efforts to expand pressure for a ceasefire in Gaza, leveraging their willingness to take part in the Strip’s rehabilitation after the war in addition to further integrating Israel into the region, on the condition that Jerusalem agrees to take steps creating an irreversible pathway to an eventual Palestinian state, two senior Arab diplomats told The Times of Israel yesterday.

The gathering is the latest example of the united front that Israel’s Arab partners and potential allies are building, one that is increasingly at odds with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s government, which expects the war to continue for many more months until “total victory” is secured. On the other hand, the grouping of Arab countries led by Saudi Arabia is offering Israel a partnership that could be used to more effectively combat Iran, which Netanyahu has long sought.

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