TEL AVIV / RIYADH — Although Saudi Arabia has repeatedly stated that it has no plans to sign a normalization agreement with Israel before a peace agreement between Israel and Palestine is reached, an article in the Israeli Jerusalem Post argued that Israeli–Saudi normalization is not so far-fetched. Normalization, however, would be conditional on the sale of the advanced F-35 jet fighter similar to the U.S.–U.A.E. deal.
The article pointed to the recent secret meeting between Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in the Saudi city of Neom as an indication of better relations between the two countries. A potential arms agreement was reportedly discussed at the meeting.
The Saudi government has denied that the meeting took place.
ABSOLUTELY rare Israeli flight direct to new Saudi mega-city Neom on Red Sea shore
It was Bibi's ex-fav bizjet t7-cpx. Back to Tel Aviv after 5 hours on ground pic.twitter.com/Ty9aedYbsK
— avi scharf (@avischarf) November 23, 2020
With Iran, a common adversary of Israel and Saudi Arabia, attempting to assert itself across the region, Israel may give the U.S. a green light to sell advanced weaponry to The Kingdom to tilt the balance of power further against Tehran, argued the article.
According to Israel Hayom, during the Neom meeting, mutual concerns over Turkish influence were discussed.
“Turkey has been investing heavily in the Palestinian Authority, with the Turkish Cooperation and Coordination Agency (TİKA) having completed more than 600 projects in Palestine since 2005,” wrote Ahval on Thursday.
In an official statement on 1 October, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan referred to Jerusalem as “our city”, referencing the centuries of Ottoman rule over the city.
Israel has agreed to allow Saudi Arabia to run charities in East Jerusalem to curb the influence of Turkish charities.