The Saudi government’s official state news agency, the Saudi Press Agency, has reported the Saudi Cabinet issued a strong directive Monday calling for “swift action” to be taken to establish an “independent vibrant Palestinian state.”
The Saudi Cabinet summed up statements made by Minister of Culture and Information, Abdul-Aziz Khoja, calling on the United States to “put pressure on Israel” to implement a March 2002 Saudi initiative. The measure would require Israel to expel Jews from East Jerusalem and other areas captured by Israel during the 1967 Six-Day War to make room for an independent Palestinian state.
The 2002 initiative also called for Israel to recognize a December 1949 U.N. resolution that calls for Palestinian Arab refugees and their descendants to return to Arab villages abandoned during Israel’s 1948 War of Independence.
Saudi Arabia has remained in an active state of war with Israel since 1948 and is the only Arab nation state contiguous to Israel that has never signed a peace agreement or even an armistice deal with Israel. The Arab League declared war to decimate the nascent Jewish state in 1948. That state of war still exists, and Saudi Arabia exercises a leadership role within the Arab League.
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Since 1948, Egypt and Jordan have signed peace treaties with Israel, and Syria and Lebanon have signed armistice accords with Israel.
In the context of its war with Israel, Saudi Arabia continues to provide funding for Damascus-based Palestinian terrorist organizations that rejected the peace process with Israel.
David Bedein can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org