Israeli army chief says ready to share information with Saudi Arabia

Lt.-Col. Gadi Eisenkot

DUBAI, Nov 16 (Reuters) – The Israeli army’s chief of staff told an Arabic language online newspaper that Israel was ready to share “intelligence information” with Saudi Arabia, saying their countries had a common interest in standing up to Iran.

Lieutenant General Gadi Eizenkot told the privately Saudi-owned Elaph in what it said was his first interview with an Arabic newspaper that Israel had no plans to attack Lebanon’s Hezbollah group.

Saudi Arabia has ratcheted up pressure on arch-foe Iran, accusing Tehran of trying to expand its influence in Arab countries, often through proxies including the Lebanese Shi’ite Hezbollah group.

Increased tension between Tehran and Riyadh has fuelled speculation that shared interests may push Saudi Arabia and Israel to working together against what they see as a common Iranian threat.

Saudi Arabia maintains that any relations with Israel hinge on Israeli withdrawal from Arab lands occupied in the 1967 Middle East war.

Asked if Israel had shared any information with Saudi Arabia, Eizenkot said: “We are ready to share information if necessary. There are many shared interests between us.”

He said U.S. President Donald Trump’s election on a platform that calls for increasing pressure on Iran has provided an opportunity for new alliances in the Middle East.

 

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