Saudi Official Stresses Importance of Palestinian Statehood for Peace with Israel

An anonymous Saudi Arabian official told Al-Arabiya on Tuesday that Saudi’s only route to establish ties with Israel is through the establishment of Palestinian statehood.

“We don’t have a partner on the other side that is helping us to make this step,” the official said, claiming that normalization with Israel was still possible but more difficult since October 7. “But there must be an irreversible, irrevocable” establishment of a Palestinian state, the official asserted.

Pushing for Palestinian statehood

The US is engaged in ongoing “planning processes” on how to advance the establishment of a Palestinian state, according to US State Department spokesperson Mathew Miller in January.

“Yes, we are actively pursuing the establishment of an independent Palestinian state with real security guarantees for Israel,” Miller told reporters in Washington. “We support the establishment of an independent Palestinian state and do a lot of work in the government to bring it about.”

US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken also urged Israel to recognize a Palestinian state in January, suggesting it would be the best way to marginalize Iran.

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken holds a news conference in Tel Aviv, last week. (credit: Mark Schiefelbein/Reuters)

“If you build that integration, bring Israel in, make the necessary security commitments, and move towards a Palestinian state, that’s the single best way to isolate and marginalize Iran and its proxies,” Blinken said.

Do Palestinians support a two-state solution?

A poll by the Ramallah-based Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research found that only 28% of Palestinians support a two-state solution, with 70% opposing it. The Jerusalem Post reported these findings in June 2023.

A November poll by the Arab World for Research and Development revealed that 74.7% of Palestinians prefer the existence of a singular Palestinian state.

Support for a single Palestinian state was higher among Palestinians in the West Bank (77.7%) compared to those in Gaza (70.4%).

Only 17.2% of respondents supported a two-state solution, with a higher percentage in Gaza (22.7%) than the West Bank (13.3%).

Just 5.4% of respondents favored a “one-state for two peoples” solution.

Tovah Lazaroff and Barak Ravid contributed to this report.