Hamas attacked Israel to stop its rapprochement with the Saudis: Biden

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United States President Joe Biden said today he believes that Hamas's attack on Israel two weeks ago was intended to ruin the rapprochement between that country and Saudi Arabia.

"One of the reasons they acted the way they did... (was) because they knew I was about to sit down with the Saudis," Biden said of contacts in which the Saudis were open to recognizing the Jewish state.

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The possible normalization of Relations with Saudi Arabia and other Arab states was one of the priorities on the Secretary of State's agendaAntony Blinken, during his June trip to Riyadh, although at the time he acknowledged that imminent progress should not be expected.

"The Saudis wanted to recognize Israel... unite the Middle East," Biden said at a fundraising meeting.

Antony Blinken, head of US diplomacy, told a television station on October 8 that "it would not be a surprise if part of the motivation (of the attack) was to disrupt efforts to unite Saudi Arabia and Israel."

For his part, Biden said in a television interview broadcast last Sunday that the prospect of normalization "is still alive, it will take time."

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Before the unexpected attack by the Palestinian group Hamas against Israel, it was believed that Ties between Saudi Arabia, a regional power, and the Israelis were heading toward normalization.

Israel responded to the October 7 attack by bombing Gaza with warplanes, killing more than 4,000 people, and has said it will take action to free hostages taken by Hamas militants.

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With information from AFP and Reuters.


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