Hezbollah blames Gulf states for Netanyahu's sovereignty pledge

Hezbollah claims that steps towards closer Gulf-Israeli ties embolden Netanyahu against the Palestinians.

Ben Ariel ,

Netanyahu announces intention to apply sovereignty in Jordan Valley
Netanyahu announces intention to apply sovereignty in Jordan Valley
Hadas Parush/Flash 90

The Hezbollah terrorist organization on Wednesday blamed Gulf countries for Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu's election pledge to apply sovereignty in the Jordan Valley should he win next week’s election.

The Lebanon-based group claimed that steps towards closer Gulf-Israeli ties were emboldening Netanyahu against the Palestinians.

"Measures toward normalization and Gulf attempts to foster alliances with the enemy have created an opportunity to chip away at more Arab lands," Hezbollah said in a statement quoted by AFP.

While Gulf countries condemned Netanyahu's pledge, Hezbollah argued that recent contacts between Israel and some of the US-allied, oil-rich monarchies had encouraged Netanyahu to take a more aggressive stance.

Hezbollah accused Gulf countries -- most of them rivals of its own sponsor Iran -- of "giving (Israel) a right of aggression against the Arab people of Lebanon and Palestine".

In recent years there have been signs of warming of ties between Israel and some Arab states. Israeli officials have visited Abu Dhabi several times in the past year and Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu made a surprise visit to Oman last October.

There have been many reports in recent years about cooperation between Israel and Saudi Arabia, but most of those have originated from Iran which claimed that the Israelis and the Saudis had teamed up to sabotage its nuclear program.

Saudi officials have repeatedly denied any contacts with Israel and have insisted that Israel must make progress in the peace talks with the Palestinian Arabs before it can establish ties with Saudi Arabia.