The ex-Saudi Intelligence Chief Turki Al-Faisal this weekend revealed that secret relations between Israel and a number of Gulf states date back as far as 25 years.
According to Qatari newspaper Al-Arab, Al-Faisal was interviewed by Israeli journalist Barak Ravid, who claims to have conducted interviews with 20 prominent Gulf officials with knowledge of secret relations with Israel. However, many of these people refused to speak to the camera, Israel’s Channel 13 reported.
Ravid said that Al-Faisal – who had spoken several times to Israeli media and criticised the Palestinian resistance – agreed to speak to a programme called “The Secrets of the Gulf”, which explores the secret relations between Israel, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and Qatar.
Israeli TV aired only two minutes of the interview, which is planned to be aired fully as a series. In these two minutes, Al-Faisal referred to the Israel-Palestine situation as the “Palestinian issue or solving the conflict,” instead of terms used by the Arab states such as the “Arab-Israeli conflict,” which is mentioned in the Arab Peace Initiative formulated by Saudi Arabia.
In the series, Ravid claims he will reveal information about a “world of economic, political and military relations” between Israel and Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates (UAE). He adds that most Israelis do not know about these relations, as they are being run by the Israeli Foreign Ministry, together with Israel’s national intelligence agency Mossad.
During the Israeli offensive on Gaza in 2014, Al-Faisal – who is a member of the Saudi royal family – said that he would welcome the Israelis in his home. This was not the first time he had made such a suggestion, having once written an article for a Hebron newspaper – Al-Arab claims – telling the Israelis: “I welcome you to my house in [Saudi capital] Riyadh.”