Army chief says Israel prepared to share intel with Saudi Arabia

20 November, 2017, 00:32 | Author: Gregory Stephens
  • Army chief says Israel prepared to share intel with Saudi Arabia

Increased tension between Tehran and Riyadh has fueled speculation that shared interests may push Saudi Arabia and Israel to work together against what they see as a common Iranian threat.

"Under US President Donald Trump, there is an opportunity to form a new global alliance in the region".

He characterized it as a chance to form a regional alliance against Iran, and said Israel would be willing to share intelligence as part of the effort. A spokesman for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu also did not respond immediately to a request to comment.

While Israel and Saudi Arabia do not have diplomatic relations, they have been edging closer recently, including a visit a year ago by a retired Saudi general heading a delegation seeking to encourage better relations. Sadat was "a courageous leader who went against the stream and paved the way for other Arab leaders to recognize the importance of strategic ties with Israel", Liberman wrote.

Eisenkot urged boosting of Saudi-Israel relations and invited other interested parties, to jointly curb the spread of "aggressive Iranian influence" in the Middle East. "With us, usually, there is no problem, but we respect the other side's wish, when ties are developing, whether it's with Saudi Arabia or with other Arab countries or other Muslim countries", he said, adding that there are a number of contacts that are kept secret.


The Israeli army's chief of staff gave the first interview by someone in his post to a Saudi news outlet. Tel Aviv is seeking rapprochement with Riyadh on the basis of common interests and coinciding threats, despite the fact that the two states have no diplomatic relations and that the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is far from being resolved.

That plan makes those relations contingent on a full withdrawal by Israel from territory it captured in the 1967 Middle East war, including East Jerusalem.

Earlier this week, Israel Defense Forces (IDF) Chief of Staff Gadi Eisenkot told Saudi online newspaper Elaph that Israel was ready to share intelligence with Arab countries, including Saudi Arabia.

"In this matter there is complete agreement between us and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, which has never been our enemy".

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