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Israeli Media Say A Top Official Flew To Saudi Arabia On 'A Mysterious Flight'

Israel's Ben Gurion Airport - File photo

A mysterious flight from Tel Aviv's Ben Gurion airport to the Saudi Arabian capital Riyadh has triggered a series of speculations in Israeli media.

Earlier, several Israeli news outlets had claimed that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu or the head of Mossad had a secret meeting with Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince, Muhammed bin Salman.

According to the Israeli dailies, Ma'ariv and Jerusalem Post, a privately-owned jet took off from the International Bengurion airport at midnight, Tuesday, October 22. After a two-minute stopover in Amman, capital city of Jordan, directly flew to Riyadh. The dailies speculated that the passenger of the mysterious plane had either been Netanyahu or the head of Mossad, Yossi Cohen.

Meanwhile, daily Haaretz's Avi Scharf described the trip as "extra rare." He twitted that U.S. Secretary of Defense, Mark Esper was in Riyadh around the same time and asked whether the U.S.-registered jet had brought an Israeli official for a "snap trilateral."

The Israeli government has not yet commented to the speculations.

"Although Israel has no formal relations with Saudi Arabia, ties are gradually warming up, in part due to shared concerns over Iran's growing influence in the region. In the absence of an Israeli-Palestinian peace deal, most of the cooperation has taken place behind the scenes," Bloomberg reported on Thursday, October 24.

In September, Ambassador to the UN Danny Danon told The Jerusalem Post that Israel and various Arab states, including those with whom Israel does not have formal ties, were working together at the U.N. and elsewhere against Iran.

While the "Europeans were running around trying to get a meeting between [U.S. President Donald] Trump and [Iranian President Hassan] Rouhani, Israel and various Arab states were coordinating efforts to reveal the true face of the Iranians," Danon said.