Saudi Arabia is said to have taken a special peace initiative to resolve the conflict between Israelis and Palestinians. Instead of Jerusalem, Abu Dis village should become the future capital of Palestine.
The New York Times, based on a source in the Lebanese government, reported on December 3 that Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Selman made the proposal. The proposal was presented during the visit of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas to Riyadh last month, it is said.
According to the proposal, the Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza Strip will not live in a coherent state. The Palestinians have only partial sovereignty over the territory and the majority of Israeli settlements in the West Bank remain. It is noteworthy that the proposal coming from sunni Saudi Arabia, which always sees itself as a protective power of Islam, does not provide for the right of Palestinian refugees and their descendants living abroad to return to Israel.
The news portal „Middle East Monitor„, citing the New York Times, writes that Riyadh gave Mahmoud Abbas two months to think about the allegedly generous offer. For the ambitions of the Palestinian people, accepting the deal would be a bitter pill. Because it has to fear that the Israeli side would strengthen its grip on Jerusalem even more.
According to the news portal „al-Araby al-Jadeed„, which referred to the White House, US President’s son-in-law Jared Kushner paid a secret four-day visit to Saudi-Arabia in October before travelling to Israel to discuss the Middle East peace process.
A month later, President Mahmoud Abbas arrived in Saudi Arabia for spontaneous talks with King Salman and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Selman.
Jerusalem is a holy city for all three world religions. For Muslims, the temple mountain with the al-Aqsa mosque is the third most sacred place of prayer in Islam. The decision of US President Donald Trump to recognise Jerusalem as the capital of Israel caused great outrage and anger in the Muslim world. Turkey warned that recognition will trigger a new wave of violence in the Middle East.
Abu Dis is a Palestinian village with hardly more than 12,000 inhabitants. The city is located east of occupied East Jerusalem. According to the Oslo Accords, the city is part of Area B, which is administered by both Israel and the Palestinian Authority.