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Amid Yemen Bloodbath And Riyadh’s Fears, Reports Of New Israel-Saudi Arms Deal

Israel and Saudi Arabia have no official diplomatic ties. Yet last year Israeli military chief of staff Lt. Gen. Gadi Eizenkot gave a shocking interview to a Saudi newspaper, in which he strongly advocated an Israeli-Saudi alliance versus Iran and its alleged “assets” in the Middle East.

TEL AVIV, ISRAEL –  Israel issued a denial Thursday of a report that it inked a deal to sell the Iron Dome missile defense system to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, after reports of such a deal in Arabic-language news media citing unnamed high-level diplomatic sources spread across the world press.

The denial comes as the Saudis continue to spend billions on weaponry since locking itself into a quagmire in its war of aggression on Yemen, where it has led a coalition against the Ansarullah popular forces, or Houthi movement since 2015.

It also comes as the Saudi regime, under the leadership of King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, continues to be roiled by the effects of its cruel war on Yemen and its increasingly open relationship with Tel Aviv.

In a report on the deal, which was allegedly worth upwards of tens of millions of dollars, United Arab Emirates-based al-Khaleej newspaper cited officials who claimed that the sale would potentially be the first of many, pending the successful operation of the system along the Saudi border with Yemen, where multiple projectiles and ballistic missiles have been launched by popular forces toward military targets in Saudi-controlled territory.


The newspaper claimed the deal was a result of “the continued rapprochement between Saudi Arabia and Israel in recent months.”

The Iron Dome system, which was unveiled in 2011 during the Israeli assaults on the Gaza Strip, was developed and is manufactured by Israel Aerospace Industries and the state-owned Rafael Advanced Defense Systems military contractor, and has enjoyed heavy investment by the United States. The system is jointly manufactured in the two countries by both Rafael and flagship war contractor Raytheon, and has been touted as a possible solution to the U.S. military’s need for a compact air defense system capable of rapidly intercepting short-range rockets, missiles and mortar shells.

The Israelis had originally vowed not to sell the system to neighboring Arab countries, given Tel Aviv’s long-term “interests in the region,” according to the report. U.S. officials’ persistent demands at a “secret tripartite meetings that took place in Washington” eventually compelled Tel Aviv to complete the deal, sources added.

Rafael spokesperson Amit Zimmer roundly rejected the report Thursday, telling The Times of Israel that “the report is not true.” In another statement, the Israeli Defense Ministry said: “We deny the existence of an agreement to sell the Iron Dome system to Saudi Arabia.”


Yemen fights back

Since 2015, the Saudi kingdom has led a ruinous war titled Operation Decisive Storm on the Yemeni nation in a bid to foist a puppet regime on the neighboring country and to crush the Ansarullah movement, which it accuses of being an armed proxy of Iran.

MintPress News has exclusively reported on the dire extent of the humanitarian crisis resulting from the war, in which tens of thousands of preventable deaths through infectious disease and chronic illness continue to extract a horrific toll on the suffering people of Yemen.

Young boys inspect graves prepared for victims of Saudi Arabia’s airstrike on a school bus in Saada province, Yemen, August 10, 2018. Naif Rahma | Reuters

Owing to the unflagging morale and popular support of Yemeni troops and their Houthi allies, however, the Saudis and their junior partners have failed to make headway and have instead sunk into the quicksand of a prolonged occupation effort.

In the meantime, the Saudis have complained that they have been targeted by over 190 missile attacks launched from Yemen, which have mainly targeted military positions in southern Saudi Arabia. Riyadh and Washington have also frequently attempted to blame Iran for having armed resistance fighters.

Citing the alleged “Iranian threat,” Riyadh has clamored for newer and more advanced forms of military aid and imports from Western countries while citing its lack of progress in the war as proof of the alleged lethality of Tehran’s aid to allies.

As a result of Saudi Arabia’s fear of Iran and Tehran’s alleged “proxies” in Bahrain, Iraq, Lebanon, Syria and Yemen, Riyadh has also sought to make common cause with Israel and the extreme pro-Zionist administration of U.S. President Donald Trump.


The KSA-Israel alliance continues to develop

While the veracity of the reports on Tel Aviv’s sale of the Iron Dome to Riyadh is still unclear, it remains certain that the Saudi kingdom is continuing its dealings with the Israeli settler-colonial state and pursuing its historic alliance shift.

Israel and Saudi Arabia have no official diplomatic ties. Yet last year Israeli military chief of staff Lt. Gen. Gadi Eizenkot gave a shocking interview to a Saudi newspaper, in which he strongly advocated an Israeli-Saudi alliance versus Iran and its alleged “assets” in the Middle East through the sharing of classified intelligence and other means. The senior official said:

The Iranian plan is to control the Middle East by means of two Shi’ite crescents, the first being from Iran to Lebanon and the second across the [Persian] Gulf to the Red Sea. We must stop that from happening. This is what should be prevented in the region. In this matter there is complete agreement between us and Saudi Arabia.”

Eizenkot added that the election of Trump and the new anti-Iranian mood in Washington have created a rare opportunity for new alliances in the Middle East.

Israeli Defense Minister Yaalon shakes hands with former Saudi intelligence chief, Turki al-Faisal. Ariel Harmoni | Israel Defense Ministry

Saudi heir-apparent and Crown Prince, Mohammed bin Salman, has also sharply veered from the official position that Israel not be recognized until it withdraws from lands occupied in 1967, telling The Atlantic in April “the Jewish people have a right to a nation-state in at least part of their ancestral homeland” — a claim tantamount to a recognition of Zionist claims to a “right of return” to the land they claim they were driven from during biblical times. The Saudi royal added:

I believe that each people, anywhere, has a right to live in their peaceful nation. I believe the Palestinians and the Israelis have the right to have their own land.”

Such messaging, as well as the behind-the-scenes dealings between Tel Aviv and Arab capitals, led Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to claim last month that “many Arab countries now see Israel not as their enemy but as their indispensable ally.”


Elliott Gabriel
Elliott Gabriel is a former staff writer for teleSUR English and a MintPress News contributor based in Quito, Ecuador. He has taken extensive part in advocacy and organizing in the pro-labor, migrant justice and police accountability movements of Southern California and the state's Central Coast.

One Reply to “Amid Yemen Bloodbath And Riyadh’s Fears, Reports Of New Israel-Saudi Arms Deal

  1. What people don’t understand is the cultural history, and who are really orchestrating this. The British are the ones who created the Muslim Brotherhood and when that failed, they used Wahhabism to the same ends. In Israel they are using the Hasidim. The Washington-Westminster cabal tried to play the same cultic game in Turkey with Gulan, all of this being based on the Masonic model of infiltration and assimilation, but Erdogan was too savvy for them, and their coup failed. Britain/America were never afraid of Islam, they were always afraid of Arab Nationlism, and secular Jews and Arabs working together – they still are.

    Britain has a long history of manipulating the Jews, just like the Romans did. You only have to look at British politics, culture and business to understand that almost all of the most successful are the most corrupt and depraved in the community, and always have been, and the US has followed suit but with both the Jewish community and the black community. The concept of modern Israel was created by Britain, and was always envisaged as what it has become – the largest Jewish ghetto in history with a great big target on it, and Britain kept arming and provoking the Arabs to keep it that way. Most Jews realised this early on and got the hell out of Dodge. That is why the Israeli government, in desperation turned to the Hasidics, who had until the late eighties been on the periphery of Jewish society but are now at it’s heart. Hasidism is essentially the Jewish version of Wahhbism. It is a cult that is only a couple of hundred years old, and is bonkers; like Wahhabism it was used to control and oppress the poorest in the community by the leaders. They share most of the Wahhabis “values” and would have just the same biblical laws given half a chance.

    Their main strategic value for Israel is that they breed like rabbits. They make Catholics look self controlled – 10 children is not unusual. And with Israel it’s mostly about numbers – in the eighties they realised by the end of the millenium they would be significantly outnumbered, so with the fall of Russia, they got as many into Israel as they could and gave them free homes in the occupied areas; but it was a devil’s bargain for what remained of the Left in Israel. The Hasidim are rampantly homophobic, rampantly misogynistic, and like the Wahhabi they don’t like to educate, making them perfect to manipulate by their elders. While Hasidim are “ultra-conservative” they just love getting the government money. So it’s the Hasidics that populate the *subsidized* illegal settlements. In Israel, most of them don’t even have jobs, and live off welfare: they’re too “holy” to work, and all are exempt from the military for the same reason. This is the dirty little secret which secular Jews won’t talk about – just like all oppressed people they don’t like to air their dirty linen in public.

    Israel made a lot of mistakes in the beginning – sorry but a holocaust will do that. It’s called trying to survive. But positive changes were happening by the mid 80s, and peace was possible. It’s the Hasidics that have been used by vested interests to cause all the modern problems (just like Wahhabism was used in Saudi) and their influence has pulled Israel, and many formerly secular Israelis to the extreme religious right. They were behind the assassination of Rabin, a decent man who was trying to make peace, in spite of some of the historical revisionism you see today. Netanyahu has been involved and backed by the Hasidim for decades, and surely had something to do with that killing. He was also behind Sharon’s “stroke” if you ask me, but I digress. If people in the West understood all this they would not be at all surprised by this Saudi-Israeli accord, which has been going on in secret far longer than officially reported. Eventually however the Anglo-Americans, aka the Washington/Westminster Cabal will put the dogs against each other, when they’ve done their dirty work for them in Iran, and they will then destroy each other. That’s the Master Plan, and Netanyahu, who is about as Jewish as the dentist in Marathon Man if you ask me, is dancing to their tune. And everyone is blaming the Jews and the Arabs for all our problems. It’s all very depressing. Jews have been manipulated and blamed for millennia, but never have time to learn, just running from one disaster to the next. I hoped the Arabs would wake up, but they’re just as scared and stupid.

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