Director-General of the Foreign Ministry Dore Gold. (AP/Khue Bui) (AP/Khue Bui)
Dore Gold

In what may come as a surprise to many, but is no secret in the Middle east, Arab countries have long had covert relations with Israel and these relationships are now coming to light as shared concerns over Iran take precedence over real and perceived grievances.

Israeli Foreign Ministry Director-General Dore Gold said on Monday that Israel is consulting with Arab nations on shared security concerns, especially with regard to Iran.

“The Sunni Arab states increasingly see the Middle East through the same prism as Israel,” Gold told the Financial Times.

Gold said that much of the focus in cooperating with Gulf states has been on how to stop the threat of terror groups affiliated with the Islamic State (ISIS) terror group. For example, Israel has eased military force restrictions on Egypt and allowed it to send its military into the Sinai as necessary.

The strategy to work with Arab countries is also helping Europe, Gold said.

“The paramount threat to Europe today comes from waves of refugees that have already reached great numbers in European countries,” he said.

“The last wave [of refugees] came about because of the dissolution of Syria and Iraq. Should those types of challenges spread to other parts of the Middle East, Europe might face an even larger second wave in the not too distant future,” he added.

Gold has discussed Israel’s collaboration with Arab countries in the past.