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Covert Saudi Outreach to Israel Sputters After Journalist’s Murder - WSJ
The two close advisers to Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, who played key roles in the behind-the-scenes contacts between the two countries, lost their jobs over suspected involvement in the operation that led to journalist Jamal Khashoggi’s death inside the kingdom’s Istanbul consulate in October.

The two aides, former royal court adviser Saud al-Qahtani and former deputy intelligence chief Ahmed al-Assiri, played important roles in the clandestine outreach to Israel, according to people familiar with their work. Saudi Arabia doesn’t officially recognize Israel.

Mr. Qahtani, as media adviser, issued directives to the Saudi press to help soften Israel’s image in the kingdom, where the country has long been portrayed as the Zionist enemy. He was also involved in the kingdom’s purchase of advanced surveillance technology from Israeli firms, say Saudi officials. That brief dovetailed with his role monitoring critics and stifling dissent in Saudi Arabia, which included the hacking of electronic communications.

Maj. Gen. Assiri, a subordinate of Mr. Qahtani, secretly traveled to Israel on several occasions, making him the most senior Saudi official known to have set foot in the country, according to several people familiar with the matter. His trips focused on how the kingdom could benefit from Israel’s state-of-the-art surveillance technology, some of the people said.

King Salman, who has taken a more active role in government in the aftermath of the Khashoggi crisis, has been more adverse to warmer ties with Israel than his 33-year-old son, recently describing resolving the Palestinian’s plight with Israel as the kingdom’s “foremost priority” in the region.

On Israel’s side, Mossad Director Yossi Cohen met Saudi officials several times over the past year, say the people familiar with the matter, including a June meeting with senior Saudi officials at a U.S.-brokered rendezvous that also included Egyptian, Jordanian and Palestinian intelligence officers.

Israel, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates now regularly share intelligence on shared threats, mostly on transit through the Red Sea but also on other matters related to Iran, according to people familiar with the matter.
Saudi-Arabia  Israel  normalization  UAE  Intelligence_community  surveillance  hacking  murder  MbS  Al-Saud 
48 minutes ago by elizrael
RT : Outrageous seeing any journalist shot in the Middle East but when proclaims itself as a "democracy" & then…
Israel  from twitter
3 days ago by kcarruthers
Letter about Israel denial of entry to Univ professor for BDS reasons
We are aware that Amendment No. 27 to the Entry Into Israel Law, passed in March 2017, bars entry by any individual who has “knowingly issued a public call to boycott the state of Israel,”
BDS  Israel 
4 days ago by randompundit
I wonder if synthetic meats using real animal cells that are fully cultured can be considered kosher/halal...
artificial  synthetic  meat  food  israel 
5 days ago by asteroza

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