In a stunning revelation, President Joe Biden has pinpointed Hamas' recent violent surge against Israel as a strategic move to thwart a potential historic agreement between Israel and Saudi Arabia.
The president made these comments during a campaign fundraiser, drawing a direct line between Hamas' aggression and the impending diplomatic talks.
On October 7, Hamas launched a deadly assault, with President Biden suggesting that the timing was anything but coincidental. "One of the reasons ... why Hamas moved on Israel, is because they knew I was about to sit down with the Saudis,” Biden revealed, indicating that the prospect of Saudi Arabia formally recognizing Israel was a bridge too far for the militant group.
The Road to Normalization
Under President Biden’s stewardship, Israel and Saudi Arabia have been inching closer to a historic normalization of relations. The plans include a shipping corridor partnership announced at the Group of 20 summit in India back in September.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu echoed the sentiment of a potential breakthrough during his meeting with President Biden at the U.N. General Assembly.
The president’s comments come amid his visit to Tel Aviv, a city currently engulfed in the chaos resulting from the ongoing battles between Israel and Hamas. The situation escalated when a rocket struck a hospital in Gaza, leading to hundreds of fatalities and a barrage of retaliatory airstrikes from Israel.
The Diplomatic Dance
Saudi Arabia has expressed its desire for an agreement but insisted on expanded rights and protections for Palestinian interests. A deal of this magnitude would signal a monumental shift in Middle East diplomacy, potentially paving the way for broader recognition of Israel across the Arab world.
However, the normalization talks hit a snag when Hamas militants from the Gaza Strip launched an attack, capturing more than 200 hostages.
The incident, coinciding with a major Jewish holiday, has left the region on edge, with the U.S. striving to prevent the conflict from escalating further.
Secretary of State Antony Blinken highlighted the possibility of Hamas’ leadership attempting to derail the U.S.’s diplomatic efforts.
A successful pact between Jerusalem and Riyadh would undoubtedly mark a legacy-defining achievement for President Biden, Prime Minister Netanyahu, and Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, signaling a new era of possibilities in the Middle East.