France’s Intelligence Online website and Israel’s Channel 10 reported that a secret meeting took place on June 17, 2018, in the Jordanian city of Aqaba at the request of the American envoys, Greenblatt and Trump’s advisor Kushner on the peace process in the Middle East, known as “Deal of the Century”.
Hosted by the head of the Israeli foreign intelligence service (Mossad)Yossi Cohen, the meeting was attended by the head of the Saudi intelligence, Khalid bin Ali al-Humeidan, the Egyptian intelligence chief Abbas Kamal, Jordanian intelligence chief Adnan Essam al-Jundi and Majed Faraj, the head of Palestine’s General Intelligence Service (GIS).
News of secret meetings between Arab states and Israel usually sparks a debate among Arabs on “normalizing” relations with Israel and the occupation in Palestine.
However, this meeting came at a sensitive time as Arabs are dreading the results.
Critics spread on the social media as it was viewed as a second Sykos Picot agreement to divide the Aarab world. “A Sykes-Picot Agreement 2. The latest visit by international leaders to the region recently points out to some new division in the region.“
Another one wrote:”Two days ago, Jordan’s King welcomed Netanyahu in Amman. Today, Sisi welcomed Jared Kushner in Cairo. Tomorrow, Trump will welcome Jordan’s King in Washington. Endeavors to complete the deal of the century is abnormal.”
It is worth to mention that the meeting came one day ahead of the secret meeting that was officially announced later between the Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu and Jordan’s King Abdullah II in Jordan on latest developments in the region and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Lately, talks on the so-called “deal of the century” and the changes expected to be made on Jerusalem’s status for Palestinians have been rising. It has some Arab leaders expressing their implicit acceptance to the deal while others are facing mounting pressures to submit the plan.
Last week, Kushner, the broker of the deal, and Greenblatt began their journey in Saudi Arabia, before going to Qatar, Egypt, Jordan and Israel to arrange the plan without any Palestinian engagement, although the plan concerns Palestinians more than anyone else.
Israeli media reports following the meetings suggest that many Arab countries said they will back the peace deal “regardless of whether the Palestinian Authority is on board”, including Egypt, Jordan, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, Israel Hayom reported. It also suggested that the plan will most likely be presented in August 2018.