Arab League states condemn Hezbollah as 'terrorist organization'

Jerome Frank
November 20, 2017

Eisenkot said in the interview that "we have no intention of initiating a conflict with Hezbollah in Lebanon and reaching a war, but we can not accept strategic threats to Israel there".

Israeli Minister of Energy and Water Resources Yuval Steinitz has recognized the existence of secret ties between Israel and "many" Muslim and Arab states, including Saudi Arabia.

"With President Donald Trump, there is a chance for a new global alliance in the region and a major strategic plan to stop the Iranian threat", Eisenkot said.

Saudi Foreign Minister Adel bin Ahmed Al-Jubeir stressed the importance of the rapid response of Arab countries to the request of Saudi Arabia to hold an extraordinary meeting to confront the dangers of Iranian interference in the affairs of Arab countries.

Tensions have mounted between Saudi Arabia and Iran since November 4, when Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri, a long-time Saudi ally, announced a surprise resignation, accusing Tehran and its allied Lebanese Hezbollah movement of destabilizing his and other Arab countries. With us, usually, there is no problem, but we respect the other side's wish, when ties are developing, whether it's with Saudi Arabia or with other Arab countries or other Muslim countries, and there is much more ...

Eisenkot urged boosting of Saudi-Israel relations and invited other interested parties, to jointly curb the spread of "aggressive Iranian influence" in the Middle East. "However we will not accept a strategic threat to Israel".

Israel and Hezbollah fought a devastating war in 2006.

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Earlier this week, 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.

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. Iran denies arming the Houthis, who say they locally produced the missile.

"The Iranian plan is to control the Middle East by means of two Shi'ite crescents", Eisenkot told Elaph, "the first being from Iran through Iraq to Syria and Lebanon and the second across the Gulf from Bahrain to Yemen to the Red Sea".

In public remarks in September, Netanyahu pointed to covert relationships with Arab states, saying, without mentioning any by name, that cooperation exists "in various ways and different levels".

"There is an opportunity for a new global alliance in the region", Lt. Gen. Gadi Eisenkot told the paper, adding that Tel Aviv wanted to "exchange intelligence to confront Iran".

In 2016, former Saudi general Anwar Eshki visited Israel, where he met Israeli legislators, to promote - as he has at various academic forums - the Saudi peace initiative.

Other reports by Guamnewswatch

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