Intelligence chiefs of Saudi Arabia, Jordan and Egypt as well as Israeli Mossad’s chief, Yossi Cohn, attended a top-secret meeting in Washington’s latest bid to implement its Middle East peace plan, French website Intelligence Online reported Thursday.
The event was reportedly initiated by Jared Kushner, Senior Adviser to US President Donald Trump and his son-in-law and US envoy to the Middle East, Jason Greenblatt.
The report also suggested that the head of the Palestinian Authority’s (PA) security and intelligence services, Majid Faraj, had also been present at the conference, but according to Press TV, citing Maan News Agency, the PA denied sending the intelligence head to the meeting.
While Intelligence Online’s report didn’t mention the date and venue of the alleged summit, Israel’s Arutz Sheva radio station said it had been held “ten days ago.”
The purported meeting between the two was held at a time when the Palestinian President, Mahmoud Abbas, was hospitalized. According to Haaretz, the timing could mean Washington’s trying to guarantee stability on the Palestinian side after Abbas leaves the political scene.
Egypt, Jordan and Saudi Arabia have no diplomatic ties with Israel, but under Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, Riyadh has softened its stance. Israeli top officials, including Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, admitted that despite having no diplomatic relations with Saudis, Israel has had "contacts" with Riyadh which "have been kept in general secret."
Washington's Peace Plan
On Monday, Israel's Hayom daily reported that Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Egypt and Jordan had given the go-ahead to the US plan for the Israeli-Palestinian peace process regardless of the PA’s boycott and rejection of US’ mediation role.
Last week, Kushner told the Palestinian newspaper Al Quds that he was ready to cooperate with Abbas to work out a peace plan.
"If President Abbas is ready to go back to the negotiating table, then we are ready to participate in the discussion, but if that's not the case, then we are going to make the plan public," Kushner said, adding that the plan would be ready "soon."
Trump's son-in-law also claimed that Abbas was "scared we will release our peace plan and the Palestinian people will actually like it.”
Tensions between Israel and Palestinians further escalated in December 2017 after the Trump administration recognized the disputed holy city of Jerusalem as Israel's capital and relocated the US embassy there.
The decision, which sparked violence on the border between Israel and the Gaza Strip, was followed by the Palestine Liberation Organization's calling on Arab nations to cut ties with states that moved their embassies to Jerusalem following the US lead.