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Israel 'backs' Saudi Arabia in controversy over Khashoggi disappearance Open in fullscreen

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Israel 'backs' Saudi Arabia in controversy over Khashoggi disappearance

Reports have recently emerged of co-operation between Riyadh and Tel Aviv [Getty]

Date of publication: 17 October, 2018

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An Israeli official has broken the Jewish state's silence on the disappearance of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, saying Tel Aviv believes Saudi denials of involvement in the controversy.

Israel has broken its silence on the disappearance of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, saying Tel Aviv believes Saudi denials of involvement in the controversy.

An unnamed Israeli security source made the remarks to Saudi-owned news website Elaph, which previously interviewed several high-level Israeli figures, on Tuesday.

"Israel does not trust the reports on Khashoggi coming out of Turkey and has more trust in what Saudi Arabia is saying," the source was quoted as saying.

Turkish officials have said that Khashoggi was killed inside the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on October 2 after he visited to sort out marriage paperwork.

"The reports are not based on evidence or facts and come amid sensational press coverage and political hostility from several concerned countries," the source said.

"Israel is interested in this issue… but it has not taken a position because it is waiting for the results of the joint Turkish-Saudi probe and the internal Saudi investigation,"

The comments are the first from an Israeli official since Khashoggi vanished two weeks ago, with Israeli media largely ignoring the affair.

Riyadh has denied any responsibility for Khashoggi's disappearance.

Saudi Arabia and Israel do not have official relations but various reports have recently emerged of co-operation between the two countries, who share a common foe in Iran.

Earlier on Tuesday, Turkish sources revealed that a Saudi military corner cut up journalist Jamal Khashoggi in minutes after he entered the kingdom's consulate.

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