Persian Gulf kingdom sought to buy Israeli Hermes attack drones: Report
A recent report has disclosed that a Persian Gulf kingdom wanted to purchase Israeli-made unmanned aerial vehicles several years ago amid reports that a number of Arab countries are dramatically warming up their relations with the Tel Aviv regime after secret contacts.
According to a report published by the Kan public broadcaster, the purchasing country, which was not identified in the report due to military censorship, made the request to acquire Elbit Hermes 450 medium-size long-endurance drones, which can be armed with air-to-surface munitions.
Israeli military officials mulled the offer for a while before turning it down after careful consideration, the report added.
The Persian Gulf kingdom then purchased Chinese Chengdu Pterodactyl I, also known as Wing Loong, drone.
Two Arab countries in the Persian Gulf region, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE), are currently known to be operating unmanned aerial vehicle.
Israeli regime Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Monday that the authorities of Oman had allowed Israeli planes to use the country's airspace for flights, adding that the regime of Israel was working toward getting similar authorization from Saudi Arabia.
Turkey’s official Anadolu news agency, quoting Hani Marzouk, a spokesman for Netanyahu's office for Arab media, reported last month that the Israeli prime minister is scheduled to visit Bahrain "soon."
He added, “This visit is only a prelude for something bigger, for another Middle East. It "is the start for new relations and an indication that we are on the right track to correct history.”
Marzouk added, “Israel sees the Arab world is large, diverse and has rich human potential and it wants to establish great relations with it at the scientific and academic level.”
Israeli Transportation and Intelligence Minister Yisrael Katz visited Oman on November 4 to attend an international transport conference and pitch a railway project that would link the Persian Gulf to the Mediterranean via Israeli-occupied territories.
The trip came on the heels of a surprise visit by Netanyahu in late November to Oman, where he met Sultan Sayyid Qaboos bin Said Al Said at the Bait al-Barakah Royal Palace in the coastal city of Seeb near the capital Muscat.
Israeli regime’s English-language daily newspaper The Jerusalem Post reported that the two men discussed ways to advance the so-called Middle East peace process as well as a number of issues of mutual interest with regard to the region’s stability.
Netanyahu was accompanied by senior officials, including the head of the Mossad spy agency and his national security adviser.
Netanyahu's unpublicized visit to Oman came on the same day that Israeli Culture and Sports Minister Miri Regev traveled to the UAE to accompany Israel’s judo team at the Abu Dhabi Grand Slam 2018.
Regev arrived in Abu Dhabi on October 26, and she participated in the opening ceremony of the international event at the Emirati capital’s Zayed Sports City, Palestinian Arabic-language Ma’an news agency reported.
Her visit to the UAE marked the first of its kind by an Israeli minister to a Persian Gulf littoral state.
Tel Aviv and Abu Dhabi have no diplomatic ties and the UAE does not recognize the regime of Israel, but the two sides have increased backchannel cooperation in recent years. There have been numerous reports of growing contacts between Saudi and Israeli officials too.
Among Arab countries, Israel has diplomatic relations only with Egypt and Jordan.
Saudi Arabia has hostile ties with resistance movements in the Palestinian territories, including Hamas which is fighting the Israeli occupation.