As speculation mounts regarding the motives behind Hamas’ unprecedented attacks on Israeli territory, Antony Blinken suggested on Sunday that one of their aims may be to disrupt the dialogue between Saudi Arabia and Israel, potentially hindering the initiation of diplomatic relations.
Hamas carried out its most significant attacks and incursions into Israeli territory on Sunday, which have been described as unprecedented in history. According to The New York Times, it is reported that at least 600 Israelis lost their lives in Hamas’ attacks.
Blinken told CNN on Sunday, “I would not be surprised if one of [Hamas’] motivations were an attempt to disrupt the process of Saudi Arabia and potentially other countries getting closer to Israel.”
Benjamin Netanyahu, the Prime Minister of Israel, stated last month that, in his belief, his country is on the verge of making peace with Saudi Arabia, which could transform the situation in the Middle East.
The United States has stated that the normalization of relations between Tel Aviv and Riyadh will continue despite Hamas’ attacks on Sunday. On Monday, Deputy National Security Advisor John Finer told Fox News that “we believe both countries have underlying interests in potentially establishing diplomatic relations.”
However, the short-term realization of this desire challenges Israel and Saudi Arabia.
Should Israel undertake significant operations in Gaza to condemn Hamas and secure the release of its abducted citizens and soldiers, estimated at over 100 individuals, the path to normalization becomes more complex. Abbas Haniyeh, a senior Hamas leader, emphasized that Israel cannot expect support from Arab nations seeking diplomatic relations in exchange, stressing that such agreements alone cannot resolve the Palestinian conflict.
Reliable sources indicate that Saudi Arabia is pursuing security assurances from the United States and facilitating the establishment of a Palestinian state as prerequisites for diplomatic ties with Israel. The extent of Saudi Arabia’s insistence on the Palestinian state’s establishment as a fundamental condition for normalization remains uncertain.