Mossad chief: Saudis next to recognize Israel after US election

Spy agency head says Saudis want to give the achievement to whomever the next U.S. president is.

By Paul Shindman, World Israel News

The head of the Mossad said that Saudi Arabia is waiting until after the U.S. elections to declare normalization with Israel as an achievement for the incoming president, Channel 12 reported on the weekend.

Yossi Cohen spoke in closed talks about the fact that there is a very large effort in the Saudi arena with great pressure, apparently by the United States, to reach an agreement.

“They seem to be waiting for the U.S. election, to give a ‘gift’ to the president-elect,” Cohen said.

Behind the scenes there is an arms deal between the United States and Saudi Arabia to cushion the move and also to solidify an internal achievement in American politics. The deal might involve the F-35 stealth bomber that Israel has in its arsenal.

After Israel and the United Arab Emirates inked a peace accord, the U.S. revealed it will be selling the advanced fighter to the UAE. Israel initially objected to the arrangement, but Defense Minister Benny Gantz flew to Washington last week where the Americans agreed to provide Israel with advanced technology to maintain their qualitative arms advantage over all other countries in the region.

Sources in Israel also reported on the weekend news that Israel is close to a peace breakthrough with Oman via American mediation. Oman is one of the Gulf nations that issued an official statement last month in support of Israel’s normalization with the UAE.

The Omanis are also apparently preferring a cautious approach rather than taking a dramatic move before the election.

Cohen suggested that should Joe Biden defeat President Donald Trump, the Saudis will take some time to get re-acquainted with Biden before presenting him with the achievement.

The Arab News website reported that the Saudis’ hesitance towards Biden is linked to the former vice-president’s hard-line position against Riyadh and especially Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, who is widely suspected of involvement in the the killing of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

Following the breakthrough announcement that the UAE was establishing diplomatic relations with Israel, Saudi Arabia made no official comment but announced the end of a ban on the use of its airspace for flights to and from Israel.

Saudi media has also featured several articles and op-eds pushing a positive attitude towards the Jewish state while being heavily critical of the Palestinians for blocking peace efforts over the years.