Israel and Saudi Arabia are nearing their first public agreement as Israel looks upon Saudi Arabia’s call to change the international status of the two Red Sea islands, the Israeli newspaper Haaretz reported.
The development takes place amidst the growing speculation that Jerusalem and Riyadh are preparing small steps towards the normalization of relations.
The White House is putting the deal in place and focusing on moving the Tiran and Sanafir islands in the Red Sea from Egyptian sovereignty to Saudi Arabia.
While the Egyptian Parliament and the Supreme Court have approved the move of the islands to Riyadh, as a result of the 1979 Israeli-Egyptian peace treaty, Israeli approval is also required.
Biden plans to visit Saudi Arabia next month while travelling in the Middle East and to stop in Israel, reports say.
Meanwhile, Israel believes that this visit will lead to progress in public gestures between the two nations.
According to sources, efforts to officially normalize relations between countries have not been successful as a result of Saudi Arabia’s position in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
A number of diplomatic talks were held secretly on security and commercial affairs.
Israel believes that following the world energy crisis following the war in Ukraine, US President Biden is willing to “forgive” bin Salman in order to warm their relations with the Saudis and expand their oil exports.
In April 2016, Egypt announced a transfer from Tiran and Safir to Saudi Arabia.
According to the peace treaty between Israel and Egypt, no movement and progress on the islands can take place without the consent of Israel.
Riyadh transferred the islands to Egypt in 1950, fearing they would be occupied by Israel.
Later in 1956, Israel took over the islands for several months.
In 1967, when Egypt blocked the routes for Israeli traffic, following the Six-Day War, Israel recaptured the islands.
After a number of years, in 1982, a peace treaty was signed and the islands, as well as half of the Sinai Peninsula, were returned.