By Abdul Raouf Arnaout
JERUSALEM (AA) - In an unprecedented move, Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman appointed a former Mossad officer as his “special envoy to the Arab world”, Israeli Channel 10 reported late Thursday.
According to the broadcaster, Lieberman appointed Eric Ben Haim, a former officer with the Mossad, Israel’s leading intelligence agency, as his “special envoy” to the Middle East responsible for handling contacts with the Arab world.
“The first central issue that Ben Haim will deal with is the humanitarian crisis in the Gaza Strip and efforts to recruit Arab and international financial support to finance electricity and water projects in Gaza,” the channel quoted an unnamed Israeli official as saying.
The move is the first of its kind. Israel, which lacks formal relations with any Arab country except Egypt and Jordan, has never before appointed an envoy -- special or otherwise -- to the Arab world.
Some Israeli officials say recent events in the Middle East have brought the Jewish state “closer than ever before” to “certain Arab countries” -- without identifying the countries in question.