A Bahraini protester holds up a picture of Saudi Shiite cleric Sheikh Nimr al-Nimr. (AP/Hasan Jamali)

A Bahraini protester holds up a photo of Saudi Shiite cleric Sheikh Nimr al-Nimr, who was recently executed. (AP/Hasan Jamali)

A princess from Bahrain reportedly received life-saving treatment at an Israeli hospital in 2010. Unofficial ties between Israel and the Gulf states have increased due to the common Iranian threat.

Deputy Minister for Regional Cooperation Ayoub Kara on Monday said that Rambam Health Care Campus in Haifa recently provided life-saving treatment to a Bahraini princess, although he would not say when the incident occurred or provide any further details, Times of Israel reported.

The hospital confirmed to the news site that it treated a princess from that country in 2010.

Kara is scheduled to meet with Bahraini officials in an attempt to strengthen Israeli ties with Sunni Arab states in the Persian Gulf region, Times of Israel said.

Relations, albeit unofficial, between Israel and the Sunni Gulf states have increased recently due to the Iranian threat. Last month, Saudi Arabia severed ties with Iran, and several other countries in the region – including Bahrain – followed suit.

Bahraini officials have accused Iran of training terrorists and attempting to smuggle arms into the country, which hosts the US Navy’s 5th Fleet. In October, Bahrain ordered the acting Iranian charge d’affaires to leave within 72 hours and recalled its own ambassador after alleging that Iran sponsored “subversion” and “terrorism.”

ayoub kara

Member of Knesset Ayoub Kara (Flash90)

The common threat of Iranian terror, exacerbated by the recently implemented nuclear deal, has inspired historic enemies of Israel to unite with the Jewish state in defense. According to a Sky News report in October, for instance, Bahrain and other members of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) were negotiating to buy the Israeli-developed Iron Dome anti-missile systems.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu approved the princess’s treatment, Kara said. “In Bahrain, they didn’t really give her a chance to survive,” Kara told Times of Israel. “At the end, we received her here, she underwent an operation, and subsequently even spent some time [at a rehabilitation center] in Nesher next to Haifa.”

Kara, the report continues, said that the princess remained in Israel for two months. Initially offered to undergo the operation in the United States, she opted for treatment in Israel, believing it was the best option for her survival. Her aides approached Kara, a Druze member of Netanyahu’s Likud party, who in turn got the prime minister’s approval.

“The relationship with the Saudi[-led] coalition is very important to us,” Kara explained, according to Times of Israel. “The entire Saudi[-led] coalition wants stronger ties because the dangers they face are the same as Israel. This danger is Iran. We have many things in common today.”

The Foreign Ministry declined to comment on Kara’s statements, Times of Israel said.

By: United with Israel Staff
(With files from Times of Israel)

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