Saudi Arabia interested in purchasing Israeli-made Spike missiles: Report
Iran Press TV
Monday, 03 February 2020 5:05 PM
Saudi Arabia has reportedly shown interest in purchasing Israeli-made long-range Spike precision missiles as the Riyadh regime continues covert efforts to normalize relations with the Tel Aviv regime after years of clandestine contacts.
The London-based al-Araby al-Jadeed newspaper, citing a report published by Hebrew-language Israel Defense magazine, reported on Monday that the Israeli company Rafael Advanced Defense Systems, which produces military hardware, is trying to obtain necessary permits from official authorities through its subsidiary in Europe, known as the Euro Spike, in order to export Spike missiles to Saudi Arabia.
The report went on to say that the supply of Spike missiles to Saudi Arabia would face objections inside the Israeli-occupied territories as Israel's so-called security ministry may not endorse the export for the fear that the munitions could be used against Israeli forces once Riyadh reverses its policies towards the Tel Aviv regime.
Al-Araby al-Jadeed noted that the Israeli ministry may allow Rafael to export the arms to Saudi Arabia, given the Spike missile's life cycle that is estimated at approximately ten years – a period during which an armed confrontation between Riyadh and Tel Aviv is believed to be unlikely.
Saudi Arabia is seemingly trying to diversify the sources of its imported weapons and military equipment, and does not want to rely solely on the American BGM-71 TOW anti-tank missile, which is currently produced by Raytheon, a major US military contractor and industrial corporation. The oil-rich kingdom has been importing the weapon since 2017.
Spike missiles, first released by Rafael in 2012, come in four variants: Spike NLOS, Spike ER, Spike MR/LR and Spike SR.
Spike SR is the smallest and lightest member of Rafael's Spike missile family, and is being used by some member states of the US-led NATO.
According to Rafael, the entire Spike family is now operational in 34 countries, including the United Kingdom, Germany, South Korea and India.
Back in September last year, Arabic-language al-Khaleej Online news website reported that Saudi Arabia had purchased the Iron Dome missile system from the Israeli regime.
Last month, senior Saudi cleric and former justice minister, Sheikh Muhammad bin Abdul Karim bin Abdulaziz al-Issa, paid an official visit to the former Nazi concentration camp, Auschwitz, in Poland. A delegation of American Jewish Committee (AJC) officials was in the company as well.
The CEO of the AJC, David Harris, described Issa's visit to the site as highly significant, claiming that the trip represented "the most senior delegation" of Muslim scholars to visit Auschwitz ever.
Back on July 22, 2019, angry Palestinians jeered and cursed a Saudi blogger known to be a huge fan of establishing formal ties between Israel and Saudi Arabia.
One video clip posted on Twitter at the time showed Mohammed Saud being cursed and jeered as he was visiting the al-Aqsa Mosque compound in the Old City of Jerusalem al-Quds.
He was part of a six-person media delegation from the Arab world, including representatives from Jordan, who were in the occupied Palestinian territories at the invitation of the Israeli foreign ministry.
Palestinians protesting his visit called him a "traitor," "animal" and "Zionist trash," and also told him to "go to a synagogue" instead of praying at a mosque.
Another video clip showed plastic chairs and sticks being thrown at him as he walked in the market in the Old City.
Last May, Lebanese daily Arabic-language newspaper al-Akhbar said the Saudi crown prince had offered Palestinian Authority chief Mahmoud Abbas 10 billion dollars in return for accepting US President Donald Trump's controversial proposal for peace between the Israelis and Palestinians, dubbed "the deal of the century."
Akhbar noted that Abbas had turned down the offer, saying supporting the deal would be "the end of his political life."
Earlier last year, delegates from Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Egypt at a meeting of Arab states reportedly opposed bids condemning the normalization of relations with the Israeli regime.
Russia's RT Arabic television news network reported in March 2019 that Abdullah ibn Muhammad Al ash-Sheikh, the speaker of Saudi Arabia's Consultative Assembly, together with his Emirati and Egyptian counterparts had opposed a paragraph in the final communiqué of the 29th Conference of the Arab Inter-Parliamentary Union in the Jordanian capital city of Amman, which demanded an end to efforts aimed at normalizing ties with Israel and condemned all forms of rapprochement with the occupying regime.
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