Jerusalem Report

Unlikely bedfellows

In late 2013, rumors abounded of secret high-level contacts between Israel and Saudi Arabia.

Saudi Air Force jets fly in formation during a graduation ceremony for Air Force officers in Riyadh
Photo by: Fahad Shaheed/reuters
According to Palestinian sources, Saudi Deputy Defense Minister Amir Salman bin Sultan and two senior military officers made a clandestine early December visit to Israel where they had talks with senior defense officials and reportedly even met Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. A few weeks earlier, according to Iranian sources, Saudi Intelligence Director Prince Bandar bin Sultan (the deputy defense minister’s brother) had a long, detailed covert meeting with Mossad Chief Tamir Pardo, in which they discussed “containing Iran by any possible means.”

In November, the London Sunday Times reported that Israel and Saudi Arabia were coordinating contingency plans for an attack on Iran’s nuclear installations and that the Saudis had agreed to allow Israeli jets, drones and rescue helicopters to overfly their airspace.

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