Netanyahu rejects plan that includes hostage release, Palestinian state, Saudi normalization

Netanyahu has rejected a proposal supported by the US that the Palestinian Authority rule Gaza once Hamas is driven from power.

By Vered Weiss, World Israel News

A plan put forward by an Arab official proposes a ceasefire in Gaza, the release of all hostages, normalization of relations between Israel and Saudi Arabia and a Palestinian State, as reported by The Financial Times.

The Arab official expressed a desire that the plan be considered and implemented in a few months to prevent the Middle East conflict from escalating.

The plan has been discussed with US and European governments which would be required to recognize the Palestinian State and to provide it with full membership in the United Nations.

“The real issue is you need hope for Palestinians, it can’t just be economic benefits or removal of symbols of occupation,” the senior official said.

The Biden Administration has been calling on Israel to enter a less intense phase of the war and the US Secretary of State has described the scale of civilian casualties in Gaza as “gut-wrenching.”

Hamas Health Ministry reports casualties at 24,000, although these numbers haven’t been independently verified and the 9,000 terrorists the IDF says have been killed may be included in this total.

At the World Economic Forum, Saudi foreign minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan was asked if his country was still interested in normalizing relations with Israel and to continue the negotiations the two countries had entered into before Hamas’ invasion on October 7th.

He replied, “Certainly,” but promptly added, “We agree that regional peace includes peace for Israel, but that could only happen through peace for the Palestinians through a Palestinian state.”

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has rejected a proposal by the Biden Administration that the Palestinian Authority rule Gaza once Hamas is driven from power.

At the World Economic Summit, Israeli President Isaac Herzog said he supported a “coalition of nations who are willing to commit to rebuilding Gaza” after the war.

However, he also indicated that currently, Israelis are placing security as a higher priority than a peace process with the Palestinians.

“Israel has lost trust in the peace process,” he said.

Herzog continued, “If you ask an average Israeli now about his or her mental state, nobody in his right mind is willing now to think about what will be the solution of the peace agreements,” he said.