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Saudi royal says Iran instigated Gaza war to sabotage Israel normalisation

April 15, 2024 at 1:48 pm

Smoke billows after Israeli army launched an airstrike on Al Mughraqa area in Gaza Strip, on April 14, 2024. [Ashraf Amra – Anadolu Agency]

An unnamed member of the Saudi royal family has told Israeli broadcaster Kan that Iran “engineered a war in Gaza” in order to undermine the progress the kingdom was making towards normalisation with the occupation state.

“Iran is a country that sponsors terrorism, and it should have been stopped a long time ago,” Kan quoted the official as saying.

In the interview conducted yesterday, the source also said, “We confront every suspicious object that enters Saudi airspace. This is a matter of sovereignty,” in reference to Riyadh’s alleged role in downing Iranian drones and missiles destined for Israel.

According to a report by the Wall Street Journal today, the Saudis also shared intelligence with the US and Israel to help counter the Iranian operation, codenamed Truthful Promise. The operation saw hundreds of drones and missiles launched in retaliation for Israel’s air strike on Iran’s consulate in Damascus which killed several diplomats and officials, including Mohammed Reza Zahedi, a top commander in the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC). The UAE, which normalised relations with Israel in 2020, also shared intelligence, the report said.

READ: Saudi Arabia says no recognition of Israel without two-state solution

The majority of the drones and missiles were intercepted outside of Israel, with the US, Britain and Jordan also playing a leading role in defending the Zionist entity.

Days after the Palestinian resistance operation Al-Aqsa Flood and Israel’s subsequent and ongoing war on Gaza, Saudi Arabia announced that it had frozen normalisation talks with Israel.

Earlier this year, Israeli President Isaac Herzog said that establishing diplomatic ties with Saudi Arabia would be essential to ending wars in the region.

“The Saudi option .. is a key to the ability to exit from the war into a new horizon…  I encourage all parties who are discussing the option of normalisation with Saudi Arabia. I believe it is a gamechanger and it follows suit with the courage of nations such as Egypt, Jordan and the Abraham Accords nations such as the United Arab Emirate, the Kingdom of Morocco and the Kingdom of Bahrain,” he said in his address to the World Economic Forum in Davos.

READ: Palestine praises Saudi Arabia for rejecting normalisation with Israel