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Israel-Saudi normalization stuck as Netanyahu struggles to boost Palestinian Authority

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu knows that to obtain normalization with Saudi Arabia, he must bypass his hard-line coalition partners and offer the Palestinians significant benefits.
Cypriot President Nikos Christodoulides and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu hold a press conference in Nicosia on September 3, 2023. (Photo by Iakovos Hatzistavrou / POOL / AFP) (Photo by IAKOVOS HATZISTAVROU/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

TEL AVIV — Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu appears to have reversed his policy toward the Palestinian Authority (PA), but can he take it far enough to generate the changes the Biden administration and the Saudis are demanding? Two days before his departure for the United States, chances of that happening look bleak. 

Truth to be told, having previously helped bring the PA to the brink of collapse, Netanyahu is now not only supporting it, but is providing it with weaponry as well.

Until Netanyahu formed his current government in late December 2022, he had sought to undermine the PA in the West Bank while strengthening its rival, Hamas, in the Gaza Strip. It was a strategy to perpetuate the split between Gaza and the West Bank and rule out any suggestion of a newly strengthened Palestinian leadership in Ramallah as potential peace partner for Israel. 

Netanyahu tied his own hands 

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