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Ex-Saudi spy chief rips Israel after Netanyahu trip exposé

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
Saudi Arabia's former intelligence chief Prince Turki al-Faisal addresses a conference in the Bahraini capital, Manama on December 6, 2020.

Saudi Arabia’s former influential spymaster has laid into the Israeli regime in strong-worded remarks after Israel's media outlets exposed a trip by the Israeli prime minister to the kingdom.

Prince Turki al-Faisal, Saudi Arabia’s former intelligence chief, who is close to the kingdom’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, made the comments, addressing a conference in Bahrain on Sunday.

Earlier, Israeli media revealed that Benjamin Netanyahu had paid a secret visit to Saudi Arabia and met with bin Salman in November.

The exposé, Faisal said, was an instance of how Israel would chronically “proffer friendship” to Saudi Arabia, but at the same time “unleash their political minions and media hounds from all countries to denigrate and demonize Saudi Arabia.”

Raging at what observers call the embarrassing revelation, he said that Israel was “the last of the Western colonizing powers in the Middle East.”

Israel started proclaiming existence in 1948. It occupied more lands in 1967 in a Western-backed war.

“You cannot treat an open wound with palliatives and painkillers,” Faisal said, referring to Israel’s continued occupation of the regional territories.

Over the past decade, Israel has been maintaining covert communications with many regional states, something that observers say would not have been possible without pressure from the United States, Israel’s biggest ally.

In September, Israel signed US-mediated normalization deals with the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain.

The US also dispatched top White House aide Jared Kushner to Saudi Arabia to coerce the kingdom into a similar normalization deal.

Palestinians have condemned the deals as a stab in their back and a betrayal of their cause to end the Israeli occupation. 

Faisal, meanwhile, denied that his remarks reflected any difference inside the kingdom about potential rapprochement with Israel, saying he was speaking in a “personal capacity.”

Taking the floor after al-Faisal, Israeli foreign minister Gabi Ashkenazi likewise said he did not believe that the Saudi royal’s remarks “reflect the spirit and changes taking place” in the region.

His Saudi counterpart Prince Faisal bin Farhan had addressed the same conference on Saturday, declaring, “We think Israel will take its place in the region.”

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