Israeli army report reveals intelligence and security relations with Arab and Muslim countries including Azerbaijan -
The official website of the Israeli army released an unprecedented report on Tuesday claiming that Israel's Mossad intelligence agency has been cooperating closely with a number of Arab and Muslim countries on issues of security, intelligence and military exports. The collaborating countries include: Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Afghanistan and Azerbaijan.
According to the report, Bahrain has been providing Israel with intelligence on Iran and Palestinian organisations. The report also highlights the growing secret cooperation between Israel and Saudi Arabia, claiming that the Mossad has been in direct contact with Saudi intelligence about Iran's nuclear programme. Indeed the Mossad's former chief, Meir Dagan, is reported to have visited Saudi Arabia to meet with Saudi officials to discuss this matter. The report notes that the Saudi authorities had agreed in 1982 to allow dozens of Israeli soldiers, upon the request of the US administration, to operate within its regional waters to search for the wreck of a rocket carrier, which had exploded after passing above a mine in the Red Sea. The report emphasised that the Saudi government allowed the Israeli navy to search its regional waters at the same time when Israeli forces were invading Lebanon and waging a relentless war against the Palestinian resistance movement, before allowing armed groups to commit the Sabra and Shatila massacres against the Palestinian refugees in Beirut.
The New York Times reported in 2011 that Israel had approved an arms deal where Germany provided Saudi Arabia with 200 tanks, signalling the strengthening cooperation between the two states.
According to the Israeli army report, Israel has also sold the UAE various military supplies, including: developed pilot helmets, drone equipment, devices to refuel airplanes while airborne, ground radar, developed systems to improve fighter aircrafts and defensive devices to jam hostile missiles.
The report claims that Morocco bought Heron drones from Israel too; however, the aircrafts were shipped to the North African monarchy via France. The intelligence cooperation between the two countries reportedly reached its peak in 1973 at the same time Morocco was sending its troops to fight Israel. The report claims that the Mossad helped the Moroccan intelligence assassinate Mahdi Ben Baraka, an opposition leader to the regime of former King Hassan II, who had agreed to allow tens of thousands of Moroccan Jews to immigrate to Israel in exchange for Israel's accepting to consult on developing Morocco's security and intelligence devices.
Israel has also supplied Algeria, Morocco's neighbouring rival, with sophisticated air traffic control systems, pilot helmets, radars, communication systems and military air navigation systems.
Israel has sold weapons to several other Muslim majority countries, namely Azerbaijan and Afghanistan, which have been shipped through Pakistan. According to the report, through its military exports Israel aims to improve its economic status as well as to achieve its strategic security interests. For example, Israel is reported to have exploited its relations with Azerbaijan to spy on neighbouring Iran.
MIDDLE EAST MONITOR
FEBRUARY 5, 2014