According to a media report, Arab countries are working on a proposal for a two-state solution after the end of the Gaza war. Saudi Arabia is offering to recognize Israel in return for the creation of a Palestinian state, the Wall Street Journal reported, citing Arab officials. The proposal was made to Israel via the US and is the first joint plan by Arab states to end the Gaza war and a two-state solution, it said. The details of the proposal are still being worked out; so far the Israeli government’s stance is negative. The establishment of a Palestinian state was the main point of contention, it was said.

Before the Gaza war, Saudi Arabia, as an important protecting power for the Palestinians, had already held talks under US mediation about a possible normalization of relations with Israel, but this came to a standstill as a result of the war. From the perspective of the Islamist Hamas, the Lebanese Hezbollah militia and Iran, the main supporter of both groups, the emerging rapprochement would have been to their detriment. The brutal massacre by Hamas and other extremist groups in southern Israel on October 7th was therefore seen by some experts as an attempt by the Islamists to torpedo the rapprochement.

News of the Arab proposal comes as renewed diplomatic efforts to end the fighting are underway. After the USA, Germany and the EU are now increasing the pressure on opponents of a two-state solution to the Middle East conflict. Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was criticized at an EU meeting in Brussels on Monday. He made it clear at the weekend that he continues to reject a two-state solution after the end of the Gaza war. Meanwhile, US President Joe Biden’s Middle East coordinator Brett McGurk held talks in Egypt before traveling to Qatar, according to US media.