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Israel appoints ex-Mossad spy as envoy to Arab world

Avigdor Lieberman, Israel’s minister for military affairs

Israel’s minister for military affairs has appointed a former officer with the Mossad spy agency as Tel Aviv’s envoy to the Arab world.

Israeli media reported Friday that Eric Ben Haim was chosen as Avigdor Lieberman’s “special envoy” to the Middle East to handle contacts with the Arab world on the Palestine issue.

Channel 10 claimed “the first central issue that Ben Haim will deal with is the humanitarian crisis in the Gaza Strip and efforts to recruit Arab and international financial support to finance electricity and water projects in Gaza.”

This is while Tel Aviv continues to keep the coastal sliver under a crippling siege, which, according to the United Nations, could turn it uninhabitable by 2020. The regime has launched three wars on the coastal enclave over the past decade.

Over the past weeks, Israel has been attacking peaceful mass demonstrations in Gaza against the regime’s occupation. Over 30 Palestinians have been killed in the crackdown on the March of Return, which started on March 30 and will last for six weeks.

Egypt and Jordan are the only two Arab countries with official relations with Israel.

Saudi Arabia has, however, turned, over the recent years, into the main sponsor of the Arab Peace Initiative, which envisions a so-called two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

The kingdom does not officially recognize Israel, but the two sides have widely been reported to have cooperated for years behind the scenes.

Saudi Arabia, under Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, has stepped up its public overtures towards Israel, which are viewed as an attempt to prepare public opinion at home and elsewhere for potential normal relations with Israel.

Recent reports also suggest that Riyadh has taken up an active role in US attempts to scramble a highly pro-Tel Aviv “peace” deal between the Israelis and Palestinians to get rid of the decades-long conflict, which Riyadh views as a stumbling block to overt relations with Tel Aviv.

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