Tunisia Secretly Cooperating with Israel, Considering A Peace Agreement


1. Summary: Challenged at the domestic level as the public questions its legitimacy and protests their deteriorating economic conditions, the Government of Tunisia (GOT) has recently been warming up to Israel by expanding its intelligence sharing and cooperation with the Government of Israel (GOI). JaFaJ has confirmed that Israeli officials have already visited Tunisia to discuss further cooperation as their Tunisian counterparts promise a peace deal “at the right time.” Nonetheless, Tunisia is one of many Arab countries holding secret ties with Israel. The GOT may be just seeking leverage from the Israelis during these challenging times for Tunisia. Hence, the sudden GOT warmth towards Israel may not translate into a peace agreement, much less a functioning sustainable peace between both countries.

2. JaFaJ sources have learned that Tunisia’s Government has been expanding its intelligence sharing and cooperation with the Israeli Government. The cooperation includes working on issues of mutual interests, countering terror groups, the Mediterranean’s safety and observing radical Islamists operating in Tunisia’s neighbor, Libya.

3. The sources confirmed the recent cooperation with the Israelis has been commissioned by “The highest office in Tunisia and blessed by the country’s military commanders.” The source added that “Tunisia hopes to enhance its standing with the United States, and hopes that by cooperating with Israel, they will be able to strengthen their regional position, and hope Israel will help garner America’s support for Tunisia’s current Government, which is influenced by the army generals. [Reftel: https://www.jafaj.net/in-tunisia-a-soft-class-act-military-coup-is-cooking/]

4. JaFaJ sources in Tunisia have confirmed that high-ranking Israeli officials have secretly visited Tunisia and met with their Tunisian counterparts. The sources added that these meetings preceded lower-level meetings in Dubai, which were arranged by a wealthy Tunisian businessman who resides there. The sources then confirmed the Tunisian officials promised their Israeli guests “extensive cooperation on security related-matters and expressed their interest in a future peace deal with Israel in what they described as the right time”. An Israeli diplomatic source opined, “We are optimistic about future ties with Tunisia.” The source continued, “It’s not the only Arab nation we have secret ties with at the moment.” The source continued by saying, “Tunisia is a very strategic hub that rests on the Mediterranean Sea and borders Libya, a nation plagued by radicals and terrorists, this makes cooperation between us and Tunisia important.”

5. Note: The GOT has been going through challenging times. A squeezing economic crisis, rampant public dismay of GOT’s performance and unbridled disdain of the Tunisian President Qais Said. For a government whose local confidence is shrinking, and its legitimacy questioned, the GOT has not been able to find much Western support or a Western guarantor. Therefore, it is highly likely GOT is seeking peaceful ties with Israel to strengthen its weak standing on the regional and international scale. The Israelis are aware of this, but have been sustaining a decades-long policy of not turning away anyone who outreaches them in the region. Nonetheless, it would be too optimistic to assume the GOT’s sudden warmth towards Israel may bring a functioning peace agreement with Israel. And even if such an agreement were to come to be, it may be like the peace between the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Israel, which UAE seems to use more for international leverage and public diplomacy rather than achieving real peace between both countries.

July 24, 2023 | Comments »

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