Unconfirmed report: Riyadh puts Israel normalization talks ‘on ice’ amid Gaza war

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

Saudi Arabian Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman Al Saud, left, and US President Joe Biden, right, shake hands next to Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the G20 summit in New Delhi, India, September 9, 2023. (AP Photo/Evelyn Hockstein, Pool)
Saudi Arabian Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman Al Saud, left, and US President Joe Biden, right, shake hands next to Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the G20 summit in New Delhi, India, September 9, 2023. (AP Photo/Evelyn Hockstein, Pool)

Saudi Arabia has decided to put Israel normalization talks “on ice,” amid the ongoing Gaza war, Reuters reports, citing two anonymous sources familiar with Riyadh’s thinking.

A similar report was published last month in Arabic media, which ended up being false, and this one too raises questions, even as it is being widely shared.

The two sources tell Reuters that there would be a delay in the US-brokered talks, though this was already clear, as senior US officials have already publicly acknowledged that the Hamas onslaught has derailed the normalization effort, even if they’re “not abandoning it.”

Analysts have acknowledged that one of Hamas’s goals in its assault was to block the normalization effort.

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman held his first-ever call with Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi earlier this week.

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