Mystery surrounds a secret night-time flight and alleged meeting between the Saudi crown prince and the Israeli prime minister. According to Israeli media reports, a private jet known to be used by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was tracked flying from Tel Aviv to the Saudi city of Neom on Sunday night. The plane was on the ground for two hours before returning to Tel Aviv just after midnight.
Several people have been hurt in a bomb attack at a Remembrance Day ceremony attended by foreign diplomats in the Saudi city of Jeddah, France says. A French foreign ministry statement said an improvised explosive device blew up at a cemetery for non-Muslims, as officials from several consulates remembered the end of World War One. There was no immediate confirmation from the Saudi authorities.
Saudi Arabia has given 20-year sentences to five people charged with killing Jamal Khashoggi, as it issued final verdicts in the case. Five of the people were spared from execution after Mr Khashoggi’s son, Salah Khashoggi, pardoned those involved in the killing in May – a move labeled as a “parody of justice” by a UN expert.
A number of Saudi officials, including two members of the royal family, have been sacked. A royal decree said Saudi King Salman had relieved Prince Fahad bin Turki of his role as commander of joint forces in the Saudi-led coalition in Yemen. His son, Abdulaziz bin Fahad, was also removed as a deputy governor. The men, along with four other officials, face an investigation into “suspicious financial dealings.”
U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on Wednesday his department did everything by the book in regards to arms sales to Saudi Arabia in 2019 after a government watchdog found the risk of civilian casualties in Yemen was not fully evaluated. Congress had requested an investigation into the Trump administration’s May 2019 decision to move ahead with $8 billion in military sales to Saudi Arabia.
Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman has been accused of sending a hit-squad to Canada in order to kill a former Saudi intelligence official. The failed plan to kill Saad al-Jabri was soon after the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi in Turkey, court documents filed in the US allege. Mr Jabri, a veteran of the government of Saudi Arabia, fled into exile three years ago.
Yemeni Houthi forces hit a large oil facility in the southern Saudi Arabian city of Jizan in drone and missile attacks overnight, a Houthi military spokesman said on Monday. The Saudi-led coalition fighting the Houthis said earlier it had intercepted and destroyed four missiles and six explosive drones fired by the Houthis over the border towards Saudi Arabia.
The trial of 20 Saudi nationals charged with the murder of Jamal Khashoggi opened in an Istanbul courtroom on Friday, and his fiancée hopes the case will offer new clues to the whereabouts of the dissident journalist’s remains. Ankara has repeatedly called for the suspects to be extradited and tried in Turkey where the crime took place. Riyadh has not complied with the request.
A Saudi official said Tuesday that the hajj pilgrimage, which usually draws up to 2.5 million Muslims from all over the world, will only see at the most a few thousand pilgrims next month due to concerns over the spread of the coronavirus. The kingdom’s Hajj Minister Muhammad Benten said a “small and very limited” number of people — even as low as just 1,000 from inside the kingdom — will be allowed to perform the pilgrimage.
The family of slain Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi announced Friday they have forgiven his Saudi killers, giving legal reprieve to the five government agents who’d been sentenced to death for an operation that cast a cloud of suspicion over the kingdom’s crown prince. The announcement was largely expected because the trial in Saudi Arabia left the door open for reprieve by ruling in December that the killing was not premeditated.