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Jerusalem Diplomatic Base Dispute: Saudi Ambassador’s Appointment Sparks Controversy


Israel has firmly rejected the idea of establishing a diplomatic base in Jerusalem for Saudi Arabia’s envoy to the Palestinian Authority (PA). The appointment of Ambassador Nayef al-Sudairi as the non-resident envoy to Palestine and consul general in Jerusalem has raised questions about the potential for a deeper normalization of relations between Saudi Arabia and Israel. This move, while seen by some as a reaffirmation of Saudi Arabia’s commitment to the Palestinian cause, has ignited discussions surrounding the longstanding Israeli-Palestinian conflict and the prospects for a historic Middle East accord.

The Appointment and Israel’s Response

Ambassador Nayef al-Sudairi, currently Saudi Arabia’s ambassador to Jordan, was named as the non-resident envoy to Palestine and consul general in Jerusalem during a ceremony at the Palestinian embassy in Amman.


This gesture appeared to align with the Palestinian objective of establishing a state in the territories occupied by Israel since the 1967 war, with East Jerusalem as its capital. However, Israel’s Foreign Minister, Eli Cohen, expressed Israel’s firm opposition to the establishment of an official Saudi presence in Jerusalem. Cohen stressed that although al-Sudairi could interact with Palestinian representatives, the establishment of a physical presence in Jerusalem would not be permitted.

Historical Context and Political Implications

The city of Jerusalem holds deep religious and historical significance for various groups, including Jews, Muslims, and Christians. Israel considers Jerusalem its capital, a stance supported by the United States but disputed by other world powers. The Israeli-Palestinian conflict has been a longstanding challenge in the region, with the Palestinian Authority seeking statehood recognition and sovereignty over East Jerusalem. Israel’s control over Jerusalem and its refusal to allow Palestinian diplomatic activities in the city has been a contentious issue for years.

Saudi Arabia’s Support for Palestine and Potential for Normalization

Saudi Arabia, known as the birthplace of Islam, has traditionally championed the Palestinian cause and refrained. From establishing formal diplomatic ties with Israel. However, recent years have seen a shift in dynamics. With reports of back-channel communications and a broader effort towards regional normalization, including potential rapprochement with Israel.


The appointment of Ambassador al-Sudairi raises questions about whether Saudi Arabia’s move could signal. A shift towards a more comprehensive Middle East deal, involving closer ties between Saudi Arabia and Israel.

Challenges and Considerations

While the appointment of Ambassador al-Sudairi. Is being interpreted by some as a reaffirmation of Saudi Arabia’s support for Palestinian statehood. There are several challenges and complexities in the path to achieving a lasting peace in the region. The divide between the internationally recognized Palestinian Authority and the Hamas leadership remains a significant obstacle. The broader normalization of relations between Israel and Arab states is also a multifaceted process. That involves addressing various geopolitical and ideological factors.


The appointment of Saudi Arabia’s envoy to the Palestinian Authority and the rejection of a diplomatic base. In Jerusalem by Israel has brought to the forefront the delicate balance between historical allegiances. And shifting geopolitical dynamics in the Middle East. As discussions continue and developments unfold. The region remains at a crossroads, with the potential for both renewed tensions and historic breakthroughs. The path to a comprehensive and lasting resolution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict requires a delicate interplay of diplomacy. Negotiation, and a commitment to addressing the aspirations of all parties involved.

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