Mossad chief Barnea meets with Libyan PM in Jordan to talk normalization - report

The Mossad chief met with the Libyan PM to discuss normalization with Israel, which may be difficult considering the ongoing chaos in Libya.

 Mossad chief David Barnea (center) at the funeral of Aura Herzog, wife of late Israeli president Chaim Herzog, and mother of current Israeli president Isaac Herzog on January 12, 2022 (photo credit: OLIVIER FITOUSSI/FLASH90)
Mossad chief David Barnea (center) at the funeral of Aura Herzog, wife of late Israeli president Chaim Herzog, and mother of current Israeli president Isaac Herzog on January 12, 2022
(photo credit: OLIVIER FITOUSSI/FLASH90)

Mossad Director David Barnea and Libyan Prime Minister Abdulhamid Mohammed Al-Dabaiba recently met in Jordan to discuss normalization and security cooperation, Saudi Arabian and Libyan media outlets reported Wednesday night.

The reports said that Al-Dabaiba’s office denied the meeting occurred.

In November, Haaretz reported that Saddam Haftar, son of Libyan warlord Gen. Khalifa Haftar, flew to Ben-Gurion Airport for meetings with Israeli officials regarding potential normalization.

Besides the meeting never being officially confirmed, assuming the meeting happened, it was unclear who Haftar met with.

On one hand, the Tevel department of the Mossad has reportedly had contacts with various Libyan officials over the years.

On the other hand, former national security council chief Meir Ben-Shabbat and his messenger, known only as “Maoz,” also reportedly had such contacts, and their handling of the file has been passed on to former Shin Bet official Nimrod Gez.

 Libya's Prime Minister Abdulhamid Dabaiba (credit: VIA REUTERS) Libya's Prime Minister Abdulhamid Dabaiba (credit: VIA REUTERS)

Gez had strong ties to Ben-Shabbat and supported him as a potential future Shin Bet chief before former prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu lost power and that scenario disappeared.

It is unclear whether any of the above Libyan officials could substantively carry out normalization with Israel given the ongoing chaos the country has been in for years.

Last month, the country’s long-awaited elections were postponed and it is unclear if the various on-again and off-again warring groups will be capable of carrying out the elections, let alone altering decades of officially hostile relations with the Jewish state.