Israeli Navy officer to be permanently stationed in Bahrain - report

This is the first time an IDF officer will be stationed in any Arab state.

Soldiers are seen inside the INS Magen, the Israeli Navy's Sa'ar 6 corvette missile ship. (photo credit: IDF SPOKESPERSON'S UNIT)
Soldiers are seen inside the INS Magen, the Israeli Navy's Sa'ar 6 corvette missile ship.
(photo credit: IDF SPOKESPERSON'S UNIT)

An Israeli Navy officer will be permanently stationed in Bahrain, the first time an IDF officer is set to be stationed in an Arab state, multiple media sources reported.

The senior navy officer, who is expected to arrive in the Gulf state over the next few weeks, will be entrusted with maintaining communications with the US Navy’s 5th fleet, which is based in Bahrain.

The move was arranged on Defense Minister Benny Gantz’s trip to the island archipelago last week, during which he visited the 5th fleet in a trilateral meeting with his Bahraini counterpart and US 5th fleet Commander Vice Adm. Brad Cooper.

Gantz welcomed the “long-standing partnership” between the US Navy and Israel, adding that “deepening cooperation will help defend against the common enemy of Israel, the United States and Bahrain” who have common interests and shared values.

The Abraham Accords and Israel’s move to CENTCOM show the work with the 5th Fleet has increased and is reflected in what the defense minister called a “significant” visit.

 Defense Minister Benny Gantz visiting the US Navy’s 5th Fleet in Bahrain, February 3, 2022.  (credit: ARIEL HERMONI/DEFENSE MINISTRY) Defense Minister Benny Gantz visiting the US Navy’s 5th Fleet in Bahrain, February 3, 2022. (credit: ARIEL HERMONI/DEFENSE MINISTRY)

Also during his visit, Gantz signed a historic public Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with King Hamad bin Isa al-Khalifa, officially establishing security ties between the two Middle Eastern countries.

The agreement will set a solid security cooperation framework that formalizes defense relations between the two countries, allowing for increased cooperation in various fields such as intelligence sharing, military-to-military training, cooperation between defense industries and more.

Anna Ahronheim contributed to this report.