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Israeli MoD Assesses Tel Aviv's Relations With Arab States Not Full-Fledged

© Sputnik / Mikhail Alaeddin / Go to the photo bankAl Jafra district of Deir ez-Zor where the Syrian Arab Army continues fighting with ISIL rebels
Al Jafra district of Deir ez-Zor where the Syrian Arab Army continues fighting with ISIL rebels - Sputnik International
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Arab nations are still not ready for open contacts with Israel, fearing a poor reaction from the general public, Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman said, adding that public opinion was valued above any regional issues with Iran.

"Unfortunately, no one from the moderate Arab states is ready for open contacts or an alliance with Israel. This is probably due to the fact that they are still much more afraid of their own crowd, citizens… than the threat emanating from Iran… When they start fearing Iran more than their own population, then I think they will have no choice but to agree for open cooperation with Israel," Lieberman told Israeli Channel 9 in an interview.

Israel and Saudi Arabia

Yuval Steinitz, Israel's minister for strategic affairs - Sputnik International
Israeli Minister Recognizes Israel's Secret Ties With 'Many' Arab States
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. Tel Aviv is seeking rapprochement with Riyadh on the basis of common interests and coinciding threats, despite the fact that the two states have no diplomatic relations and that the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is far from being resolved. While Israel and Saudi Arabia have no official ties, the Islamic Republic refusing to recognize the legitimacy of the State of Israel established in 1948.

Earlier in November, Israel Defense Forces (IDF) Chief of Staff Gadi Eisenkot told Saudi online newspaper Elaph that Israel was ready to share intelligence with Arab countries, including Saudi Arabia, noting that US President Donald Trump's harsh stance on Iran allowed for a new chance to build a regional alliance of Arab states and to curb Iran's expansion.

READ MORE: Riyadh Will Struggle to 'Sell' Working With Israel to the Arab World

Israel and Syria

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani speaks at a news conference near the United Nations General Assembly in the Manhattan borough of New York, U.S., September 22, 2016 - Sputnik International
'They Both Hate Iran': Why Israel and Saudi Arabia Are Getting Very Cozy
As for Israeli and Syrian bilateral relations, both of them have attacked each other on numerous occasions over the disputed Golan Heights, which were partly seized by Israel during the Six-Day War in 1967. The latest IDF attack on Syria occurred in September 2017, when the IDF attacked Syrian Arab Army forces in the province of Hama. However, the Israeli Defense Forces have refused to comment on the incident.

Previously, the Israeli prime minister has spoken about the country's ties with Arab states that are kept "in general secret." According to the prime minister, peace between Israel and Arab states will "happen in the end, because there are a lot of things going on all the time beneath the surface". Netanyahu's statement comes just days after Israeli Minister of Energy and Water Resources Yuval Steinitz recognized the existence of secret ties between Israel and "many" Muslim and Arab states, including Saudi Arabia.

Since the 1979 Islamic Revolution in Iran, Tel Aviv and Tehran have had no diplomatic relations, with the Islamic Republic refusing to recognize the legitimacy of the State of Israel established in 1948.

 

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