The Saudi regime has increased its normalization with Israel through a public visit to a media delegation in broad daylight, after a suspicious strengthening of bilateral relations between the two sides recently.
A delegation of six journalists was hosted by the Israeli Foreign Ministry from the Saudi Arabia, Iraqi, and Kurdistan today.
The visit comes after Tel Aviv invited media delegations at a time when the Jewish state seeks to normalize relations with Saudi and other Arab countries.
The delegation will visit the Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial Museum, the Knesset, the Holy Sites in Jerusalem, a number of holy sites in Jerusalem and a visit to the cities of Haifa, Nazareth and Tel Aviv.
The delegation is scheduled to hold meetings with Knesset members and diplomats at the Foreign Ministry. in addition, they will have a tour in the country.
The spokesman of the Israeli Foreign Ministry, Nizar Amer, welcomed the delegation, calling it “an important step to build a bridge of peace and promote understanding among peoples.”
The delegation will hold meetings with Knesset members, diplomats and a tour of the occupied Palestinian Territories.
With the exception of Egypt and Jordan, which are linked to peace treaties with Israel, no other Arab state has formal relations with Israel.
But Israeli officials have repeatedly announced in recent months that they have made breakthroughs in improving relations with Arab countries, as well as the participation of Israeli delegations in various Arab events.
This comes despite Israel’s rejection of the 2002 Arab peace initiative, which stipulates normal relations with Israel in exchange for its withdrawal from the Arab territories occupied in 1967, the establishment of a Palestinian state with East Jerusalem as its capital, and a just solution to the refugee problem.
The Palestinians accuse Arab countries of helping the United States pass the US-brokered Middle East peace plan known as the “Deal of the Century.”
It is alleged that the plan is based on forcing the Palestinians – with the help of Arab states – to make unfair concessions in favor of Israel, especially on the status of the occupied city of Jerusalem and the right of return of refugees and the borders of the hoped-for Palestinian state.
The Islamic Resistance Movement, Hamas, according to the movement’s leader Sami Abu Zuhri, condemned “this visit is a betrayal of Palestine.”
Abu Zuhri said that the news of a normalization visit to Arab media and activists to Tel Aviv is a dangerous sign and a stab in the back of the Palestinian people.
The leader of the movement said that the visit of media professionals to Israel is an attempt to bypass Palestinian rights and improve the image of the occupation.
For his part, Mahmoud Nawaja, coordinator of the National Committee for the boycott of the Israeli occupation, known as “BDS,” said that the availability of the information they have that the Saud House is seeking new rounds of normalization with Israel, during 2019.
Saud House said in a statement that the Saudi regime facilitates the commercial movement of the occupying state by opening its air space to the Israeli airline, stressing that this comes in the context of normalization with the occupation.
“After the visit of the former intelligence officer of the Saud House, Major General Anwar Eshki, to Israel (in 2016), there has been an Arab fall of the regimes towards normalization with the occupation.”
The coordinator of the National Committee for “BDS” stressed that normalization with the Israeli occupation is unacceptable at the Palestinian and Arab popular levels because it affects his struggles.
“Most of the Arab regimes that normalize are repressive, reject the freedom of opinion, oppress, arrest and deny all those who reject normalization,” he said.