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The Unholy Alliance between Saudi Arabia and Israel: 5 Geopolitical Effects You Need to Know

1. Saudi getting closer to Israel

Saudi- Israel ties have been growing in recent years and since the take over of Mohammed Bin Salman as ruler of Saudi Arabia, growth of relations has accelerated. The most recent development highlighting the coming down of a historical barrier between the nations is the latest comments of the Muft of Saudi Arabia, who said while answering a question on a television program that fighting against Israel was inappropriate and said Hamas was a “terror organization” in reply to a question regarding July’s anger across the Israeli-occupied West Bank when Israel shut Al-Aqsa Mosque. Israeli communications minister has welcomed these comments, saying: “We congratulate Abdul Aziz Al-Sheikh, the Grand Mufti of Saudi Arabia, as well as the head of Ulema (Islamic scholars) for his fatwa forbidding the fight against the Jews and forbidding to kill them.” The minister also invited the mufti to visit Israel, which would be another stepping stone in relations.

2. Iran bringing the two nations together

The role of Iran in bringing Israel and Saudi Arabia is undeniable, as it has served as a source of common interest for the two nations. Iran’s opposing role to Saudi in the Yemen war has been the biggest factor in helping Saudi put its differences with Israel aside. In May, Iran even acknowledged this, accusing Riyadh of “sowing division” in the region to Israel’s advantage after the kingdom hosted summits of Gulf and Arab leaders to rally support against the Islamic republic. Saudi Arabia has “continued to sow division between Islamic countries and in the region, which is the wish of the Zionist regime,” foreign ministry spokesman Seyed Abbas Mousavi said, adding “We see the attempts by Saudi Arabia to rally neighbouring and Arab countries against Iran as the continuation of futile attempts by America and the Zionist regime.” The latest source of tension in the Persian Gulf is set to maintain and even strengthen ties between Saudi and Israel.

3. Israel to construct railway connection through Gulf

Israel is set to take advantage of its improved relations with Saudi Arabia, as the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs recently revealed details of a proposed railway project that will connect the port of Haifa to Saudi Arabia and the UAE. Unveiled in the UAE by Israeli Foreign Minister Yisrael Katz the project was introduced as being a way to “promote regional peace” and link the Mediterranean Sea to the Arabian Gulf to allow for increased trade and improve local economies. The ministry claimed that this initiative “will create shorter, faster, cheaper and safer regional trade routes and will contribute to the strengthening of the Jordanian, Palestinian, Saudi, Gulf and even the Iraqi economies in the future.” This project is a clear sign that Israel is here to stay, and ready to immediately gain the economic and geopolitical fruits of their strengthening relationship with Saudi Arabia.

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