Riyadh - Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman made a discreet visit to Israel despite the fact that the Jewish state and Saudi Arabia do not have official diplomatic ties, Israeli and Arab media speculated earlier in the week.

Rumors about the momentous visit, which was not confirmed by Israel, started swirling when Israel Radio’s diplomatic correspondent covering Arab affairs, Simon Aran, took to Twitter to announce the visit. Aran tweeted that a senior Arab figure from the Gulf region paid a visit to Tel Aviv last week, stirring immense interest in the Arab media.


Israel Radio’s Arabic-language broadcast reported that the the senior figure was a “Saudi prince” who met with senior Israelis to discuss regional peace. According to the report, the Israeli Prime Minister’s Office and the Foreign Ministry refused to comment on the news.

One Arab media outlet reported that the senior official was Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

Qatari media and other affiliated news outlets such as the London-based Al-Araby Al-Jadeed newspaper, used the reports as a further opportunity to attack the Saudi royal family which is heading Arab intervention in Yemen, Syria and other locations.

Lebanese newspaper Al-Akhbar, affiliated with Hezbollah and Syria, and London-based newspaper Al-Quds Al-Arabi, both published the news reported by Israel Radio.

The Saudi response came shortly thereafter, with Saudi website Elaph (which often interviews senior Israeli officials) reporting on Friday that there was a visit by a senior Arab official but, rather than Saudi, it was a Qatari official who visited.

“A senior Elaph source told the newspaper that a high-level Qatari official quietly visited Tel Aviv midweek and discussed security issues with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu,” wrote the newspaper. “The source added that the visit lasted two days before his meeting with Kuwaiti emir Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah and US President Donald Trump to discuss the Qatar diplomatic crisis.”

“The senior Qatari emissary discussed security issues with Israeli representatives, including...read more at JPost