Biden ‘thinks Hamas attacked to stop Israel normalising relations with Saudi Arabia’
Joe Biden has said he thinks Hamas was motivated to attack Israel in part by a desire to stop the country normalising relations with Saudi Arabia.
“One of the reasons Hamas moved on Israel … they knew that I was about to sit down with the Saudis,” he said at a fundraising event.
The president indicated that he thinks Hamas launched the assault on 7 October because, “Guess what? The Saudis wanted to recognise Israel”, and were near being able to formally do so.
Jerusalem and Riyadh had been steadily inching closer to normalisation, with Mr Biden working to help bring the two countries together, announcing plans in last month at the G20 summit in India to partner on a shipping corridor.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu met Mr Biden on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly in September and told him: “I think that under your leadership, Mr President, we can forge a historic peace between Israel and Saudi Arabia.”
The Saudis had been insisting on protections and expanded rights for Palestinian interests as part of any broader agreement with Israel.