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Haftar's aides arrive in Israel

Self-proclaimed Libyan National Army (LNA) Chief of Staff, Khalifa Haftar arrives for a conference on Libya on November 12, 2018 at Villa Igiea in Palermo [FILIPPO MONTEFORTE/AFP via Getty Images]
Self-proclaimed Libyan National Army (LNA) Chief of Staff, Khalifa Haftar arrives for a conference on Libya on 12 November 2018 [FILIPPO MONTEFORTE/AFP via Getty Images]

A number of Libyan General Khalifa Haftar's aides arrived in Israel yesterday onboard a private plane that took off from the UAE, Israeli journalist Itay Blumental said.

Taking to Twitter, Blumental said: "An executive plane used by the men of Libyan General Khalifa Haftar (P4-RMA), which controls eastern Libya, is on its way to Ben Gurion Airport from Dubai."

He added: "The plane will later take off for Egypt."

Blumental went on to say that Haftar enjoys the support of Russia, Egypt, the UAE, Jordan, France and Israel.

No official information has been released about the visit.

Anadolu news agency has previously reported Haftar's aide, Abdul Salam Al-Badri, calling on Israel for help. "We have never been and will never be enemies," Al-Badri said. "We hope that you [Israel] support us."

Israeli security and intelligence commentator Yossi Melman, wrote to the Middle East Eye that "Haftar, who has American citizenship, was known to be very close to the CIA during his exile under Muammar Gaddafi."

READ: The post-Haftar phase

He added: "No wonder, then, that Haftar is supported by the administration of President Donald Trump, which outwardly supports international peace efforts but covertly encourages Haftar's campaigns."

"US allies in the Middle East follow suit. Among them stand out Egypt and the United Arab Emirates, and to a lesser degree Israel."

Melman revealed that "the Israeli connection is less well known but still very important," stating that "the role played by Haftar is a result of the axis created in recent years, consisting of Egypt, the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia and Israel."

Since the ousting of Gaddafi, Haftar has led Libya's eastern government in its effort to take control of the country and remove the internationally recognised government in Tripoli.

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