The spokesperson for the Houthi-supported Yemeni army, Brigadier Yahya Saree, revealed yesterday details of the links between Israel and former Yemeni President the late Ali Abdullah Saleh. Such links, he said, go back at least to the year 2000.
During a press conference in the capital Sanaa, the senior official cited official documents and stated that Saleh's government had secret relations with Tel Aviv which included visits by officials on both sides. According to Saree, normalisation between the two countries peaked in 2007, when Israeli diplomat Bruce Kashdan arrived in Sanaa to meet Yemeni military and security officials who were relatives of Saleh.
الإيجاز الصحفي لمتحدث القوات المسلحة العميد يحيى سريع بشأن علاقة النظام السابق بالكيان الصهيوني والتدخلات الإسرائيلية في الشأن اليمني.https://t.co/fYkQ0dRY5L
— العميد يحيى سريع (@army21ye) October 4, 2020
"The Israeli official left Sanaa International Airport on 16 July, 2007," said Saree. "The visit had been arranged by Yemeni officials, and the UAE played a leading role in it. The Israeli diplomat had earlier visited Yemen on 2 February, 2005."
During the visit, security in the Red Sea and Bab Al-Mandab was discussed in addition to commercial cooperation and allowing Israeli produce to enter the Yemeni market.
Al-Masirah reported that the document also mentioned the signing of an agreement that allowed Israeli civilian flights to use Yemeni air space.
Another document, purportedly issued by the UAE Embassy in Sanaa, noted that a Jewish delegation visited Yemen and asked officials to naturalise approximately 60,000 Israelis with Yemeni nationality, 15,000 of whom had US citizenship. The Emirati ambassador in Sanaa, Hamad Saeed Al-Zaabi, in a memorandum to the UAE Foreign Minister in 2004, noted that the "Yemeni-Jewish normalisation" is part of a larger scheme drawn up by the US.
Saree insisted that Israel has constantly meddled in Yemeni affairs and continues to do so. "Yemen has long been the main target of US-Israeli plots and the ongoing onslaught clearly proves this. The Armed Forces call upon Yemenis from all walks of life to raise their awareness about the real intentions of foreigners. Our struggle is nothing but a fateful battle for liberation and independence."
The army spokesperson also claimed that further information about Israel's involvement in the Yemen war will be disclosed. "We have other evidence of the Israeli military participation in the aggression, and it will be revealed in due course."