The Israeli TV station Hadashot has cited sources as saying that the country’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is interested in formalising formal ties between the Jewish state and Saudi Arabia ahead of the November 2019 elections in Israel.
The sources singled out unnamed US officials and Yossi Cohen, chief of the Israel national intelligence agency Mossad, who are allegedly dealing with the issue. Netanyahu has yet to comment on the Hadashot report.
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Earlier, the Times of Israel reported that the Jewish state is in talks with Saudi Arabia and other Arab states to prompt them to establish formal diplomatic relations with Israel.
In late October, Israeli media quoted the United Arab Emirates news website Al-Khaleej as saying that Saudi Arabia and Israel had held covert meetings “in Washington and London” which resulted in the clinching of a deal worth an estimated $250 million.
The agreement specifically stipulates the transfer of Israeli espionage technology to the kingdom. Neither side to the alleged deal has confirmed the information.
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In September, Al-Khaleej reported that Saudi Arabia had allegedly purchased Israel’s Iron Dome missile defence systems to fend off Houthi missile attacks.
In March, Israeli Prime Netanyahu confirmed that Saudi authorities had opened the country’s airspace for Air India planes that fly from Delhi to Israel.
Earlier this year, he admitted to the Jewish state “having contacts” with Saudi Arabia which “have been kept in general secret”.
The same month, Israeli Defence Forces Chief of Staff Gadi Eisenkot revealed that his country was ready to share intelligence with Riyadh in order to “face Iran”, which is considered to be a threat by both Israel and Saudi Arabia.