How the Israel-Hamas war could derail peace with Saudi Arabia

A plan for normalization between Israel and the Saudis now appears unlikely to come to fruition

A fireball rises after an Israeli airstrike in Gaza
A fireball erupts in Gaza City following an Israeli airstrike against Hamas
(Image credit: Ahmed Zakout / AFP via Getty Images)

Israel and the Palestinian terrorist organization Hamas are officially at war after the latter launched a surprise attack on the Jewish state last weekend. Hundreds of people have been killed on both sides of the conflict; Hamas insurgents have kidnapped dozens of Israelis and brought them back to the Palestinian-controlled Gaza Strip; and Israel has begun a massive counteroffensive in response. 

But while the fighting may be contained to Israel and Gaza, the war could have wide-ranging geopolitical consequences for the entire Middle East region. In fact, the war appears to have stalled talks for a historic peace deal between Israel and Saudi Arabia. Less than three weeks ago, it seemed that the U.S.-brokered pact, which would've officially established diplomatic ties and acknowledgment between the Saudis and Israel, was nearly a done deal. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told CNN that normalization between Israel and the Saudis would be a "quantum leap" for the region.

Subscribe to The Week

Escape your echo chamber. Get the facts behind the news, plus analysis from multiple perspectives.


Sign up for The Week's Free Newsletters

From our morning news briefing to a weekly Good News Newsletter, get the best of The Week delivered directly to your inbox.

From our morning news briefing to a weekly Good News Newsletter, get the best of The Week delivered directly to your inbox.

Sign up
To continue reading this article...
Continue reading this article and get limited website access each month.
Get unlimited website access, exclusive newsletters plus much more.
Cancel or pause at any time.
Already a subscriber to The Week?
Not sure which email you used for your subscription? Contact us
Justin Klawans, The Week US

 Justin Klawans has worked as a staff writer at The Week since 2022. He began his career covering local news before joining Newsweek as a breaking news reporter, where he wrote about politics, national and global affairs, business, crime, sports, film, television and other Hollywood news. Justin has also freelanced for outlets including Collider and United Press International.