Israeli sources tell me that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu secretly traveled to the city of Nyom on the Red Sea coast of Saudi Arabia on Sunday to meet with Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and Foreign Secretary Mike Pompeo.
Why this is important: Israel and Saudi Arabia have had a secret relationship for many years, but this is the first time such a high-level meeting has been announced – although neither side has officially confirmed it.
Messaging: Data from online flight radar sites showed a private jet taking off from Tel Aviv on Sunday evening and flying directly to Neom. The jet returned to Israel five hours later.
- The unusual flight coincided with a planned meeting between Pompeo and the Saudi Crown Prince, which was released on the Secretary of State’s schedule.
Note: The Saudis, Israelis and Americans knew that the flight from Tel Aviv to Nyom would be detected by aircraft inventors and would lead to the exposure of the crowd.
- According to Israeli sources, Netanyahu has not updated on his coalition partners, Defense Minister Benny Kants and Foreign Minister Kofi Ashkenazi. Kantz and Ashkenazi are both Netanyahu’s political rivals.
What they say: Israeli sources told me that Mossad Yoshi Cohen joined Netanyahu on a trip to Saudi Arabia.
- Netanyahu’s office did not comment on the story, but denied it.
- Netanyahu’s social media adviser, after the news of the visit broke in the Israeli press Topaz Luke tweeted: “When Penny Kants deals with politics, the Prime Minister makes peace.”
Behind the scenes: The Israeli Corona virus cabinet was scheduled to convene on Sunday evening. Netanyahu’s office announced Saturday night that the meeting had been postponed because more work had to be done in advance.
- This is a cover story. Israeli sources told me that the real reason for postponing the cabinet meeting was Netanyahu’s trip to Saudi Arabia.
Large image: Israel and Saudi Arabia are deeply concerned by the report of the incoming Biden administration Return destination For the 2015 Iran deal.
- Hours before leaving for South Arabia on Sunday, Netanyahu said in a speech: “Thanks to our firm stance against Iran’s nuclearisation and our opposition to the nuclear deal with Iran, many Arab nations have fundamentally changed their approach to Israel.”