Saudi Arabia is Receiving Another Delegation… from Hamas..?

As many of the nations in the volatile Middle East seek to set some of their differences aside, Saudi Arabia has received another delegation seeking to establish relations and encourage peace and cooperation within the region, this time from Palestinian militant group Hamas. The delegates arrived today, April 16th.

Hamas, considered by several nations to be a terrorist group, has held rocky relations with the Saudi’s since 2007, which took a further dive in 2019 when Saudi Arabia arrested a number of Hamas members within the nation. Several of those arrested have since been released. In recent months the Saudi’s were contacted by Hamas, who wishes to re-establish connections.

The Hamas delegation, which includes its leader Ismail Haniyeh, will first travel to Mecca, which is home to the holiest site in Islam. They will then proceed to meet with Saudi leadership to both discuss the potential normalization of relations, and the freeing of Palestinian prisoners still captive within the nation. One such prisoner, Mohammed Ashour, a high level Hamas leader, was freed today.

The visit marks a distinct setback for Israel, who was hoping themselves to normalize relations with Saudi Arabia. Normalization efforts have slowed with the recent clashes with Palestinians in the nation, particularly since the al-Aqsa raid.