Arab League to discuss Iranian 'violations'

Posted November 20, 2017

Speaking to the Saudi newspaper Elaph, Gen Gadi Eisenkot described Iran as the "biggest threat to the region" and said Israel would be prepared to share intelligence with "moderate" Arab states like Saudi Arabia in order to "deal with" Tehran.

Asked whether any information had been shared recently with Saudi Arabia , he said "we are ready to share information if necessary. There are many mutual interests". As noted by the military correspondent of the Jerusalem Post in an interview with Al-Jazeera, "this is a remarkable event", stressing that earlier Eisenkot refrained from contacts even with the Israeli media. According to Israel's army, it was the first interview of its kind since 2005.

"This morning, a decision was taken that Lebanon would be presented by Antoine Azzam, the permanent representative to the Arab League", a Lebanese foreign ministry source said.

Israeli authorities perceive Saudi Arabia as the central link in the bloc of moderate Middle Eastern nations, which deter the spread of radical Islam and the growth of Iran's influence in the region.

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Iranian President Hassan Rouhani made similar allegations this week.

"I am very happy with the calm on both sides of the border, which has lasted 11 years".

"Our demand is that Iran, Hizbullah and other Iranian militias leave Syria", Eisenkot said.

Saudi Arabia has since 2015 been leading an Arab coalition fighting on the side of Yemen's internationally recognized government.

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Meanwhile, the Saudi-led intervention against Huthi rebels in Yemen has only escalated, amid warnings that its recent blockade of the country could lead to mass starvation.

Eisenkot referred to US President Donald Trump's attempt to find a path to Israeli-Palestinian peace by drawing in regional countries. This was an unprecedented event in the relations between Saudi Arabia and Israel, where there are still no official diplomatic relations.

Saudi Arabia's powerful Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman has accused Tehran of "direct military aggression" against the kingdom by supplying the Yemen rebels with ballistic missiles, but Tehran has denied any involvement.

In what is perhaps the only concrete measure, the ministers said Arab telecommunications satellites would ban Iranian-financed television stations for what they said was their fomenting of sectarian and ethnic tensions and because they posed a threat to Arab security.

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Formal ties do not seem likely due to Israel's continuing occupation of Palestinian territory and the lack of progress in peace efforts, but behind-the-scenes cooperation has opened up in various areas, a number of experts and officials have said.