Saudi Arabia has reportedly purchased an Iron Dome battery system from Israel, the Saudi Al-Khaleej Online website reported Thursday. Israel has yet to respond to the report.
According to the report, Saudi Arabia wants a diplomatic approach to Israel and a common enemy agreement stemming from the Iranian threat. A senior diplomatic source, who was interviewed on the site anonymously, said that Israel initially refused to sell the system to an Arab country, but was convinced after the US exerted pressure. The deal ended after a series of secret tripartite meetings in Washington between Saudi Arabia and Israel. The value of the deal is estimated at millions of dollars to be paid to Israel.
It was also reported that Israel had asked Saudi Arabia to sign a commitment that the system being sold would not pose a danger to Israel and its allies in the near or distant future. According to the sources, “If Iron Dome succeeds in intercepting rockets that pose a threat to the Kingdom, there will be talks to acquire additional military systems and open the way for military trade between the two countries.”
The website also mentioned that last November Chief of Staff Gadi Eizenkott claimed in an interview with the Saudi news website Elaph that Israel would be willing to share intelligence and military information with Saudi Arabia if necessary. “We have the opportunity to establish a new international coalition in the region, we have to implement a large and comprehensive strategic plan that will stop the Iranian danger, and we are ready to exchange information with the moderate Arab countries to deal with Iran,” Eizenkott said.
(YWN Israel Desk – Jerusalem)