Saudi Crown Prince fist bumps Biden upon his arrival in Jeddah
Saudi Crown Prince fist bumps Biden upon his arrival in JeddahBandar Algaloud/Courtesy of Saudi Royal Court/Handout via REUTERS

The Biden administration is pressuring Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to accept a new commitment to Palestinian statehood in exchange for diplomatic normalization with Saudi Arabia, the Wall Street Journal reported on Thursday, citing US and Saudi officials.

According to the report in return for recognizing Israel, the White House is offering the Saudis a more formal defense relationship with Washington, assistance in acquiring civil nuclear power, and a renewed push for a Palestinian state. US officials say they are in the final stages of negotiating the deal.

US officials say the successful multicountry cooperation to intercept Iranian missiles and drones on Saturday should make it clear to Israel that its security against threats from Tehran can be enhanced through closer integration with Saudi Arabia.

Israel and Saudi Arabia had agreed on a framework for a normalization agreement and were expected to finalize the details when Hamas launched a brutal and murderous surprise attack on Israeli civilians on October 7, leading Israel to respond.