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Politico
POLITICO
21 Oct 2023
Giselle Ruhiyyih Ewing


NextImg:Biden says Hamas attacks aimed to halt Israel-Saudi Arabia agreement

President Joe Biden said that Hamas’ attacks on Israel were intended in part to scuttle the potential normalization of the U.S. ally’s relations with Saudi Arabia.

“One of the reasons Hamas moved on Israel … they knew that I was about to sit down with the Saudis,” Biden said at a campaign event Friday night, according to pool reports. “Guess what? The Saudis wanted to recognize Israel,” the president added.

Less than a month ago, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had also expressed optimism about the potential detente, telling Biden that a “historic peace” between the two countries seemed attainable.

The normalization push began under former President Donald Trump’s administration and was branded as the Abraham Accords.

But Hamas’ brutal Oct. 7 attack on Israel and sustained retaliation from the Israeli Defense Forces in Gaza have pushed the possibility of normalization between Israel and neighboring Arab countries farther from reach.

On Saturday, the first 20 trucks carrying about 3,000 tons of aid passed through the Rafah border crossing from Egypt on Saturday, bringing humanitarian assistance to Gazans, who have been rationing food and water and relying on dwindling medical supplies to treat wounds from the barrage of Israeli airstrikes.