White House offered Israel help with Iran, Saudi in exchange for ‘easing tensions’ in Palestine
As part of a backroom proposal, US officials asked the Israeli premier to 'preserve the status quo at Al-Aqsa Mosque, stop the expansion of illegal settlements, and strengthen the Palestinian Authority'
By News Desk - February 03 2023

(Photo credit: Haim Zach/GPO via Getty Images)

US senior officials who visited Israel in recent weeks offered Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu a backroom deal that included “broad cooperation in covert and semi-covert operations inside Iran” and help in normalizing relations with Saudi Arabia, according to a report published on 3 February in Hebrew newspaper Yedioth Ahronoth.

In exchange for this deal, the White House delegation asked Netanyahu to ease tensions in the occupied territories by preserving the status quo of Al-Aqsa Mosque, stopping the expansion of illegal settlements in the West Bank, and strengthening the Palestinian Authority (PA).

The Israeli premier reportedly responded positively to these terms. However, the report states that Netanyahu often agrees to demands made by his partners, but does not necessarily go along with them.

US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken, National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan, and CIA Director William Burns all visited Tel Aviv over the past two weeks to meet with senior officials.

Their visit came at a time when tensions between Tel Aviv and the Palestinian resistance remain at a fever pitch, as over 30 Palestinians have been killed since the start of the year.

According to the report, the US officials urged Netanyahu to “focus on the Iranian issue,” adding that “Saudi Arabia will be the bonus.” However, they also warned that if Israel continues to allow the illegal annexation of the West Bank, settler incursions into Al-Aqsa Mosque, and a judicial coup, the results will “transmit chronic instability to the world.”

In response to the report, Netanyahu’s office issued an official denial and stressed the premier’s “commitment to the electoral promises on the basis of which he was elected.”

The report comes just days after Tel Aviv conducted its latest attack on an Iranian target, using drones to attack an advanced weapons systems factory in Isfahan on 29 January.

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