Libya's Haftar 'may normalise relations with Israel' for election support: reports

Libya's Haftar 'may normalise relations with Israel' for election support: reports
Khalifa Haftar's son Saddam extended an invitation to normalise relations with Israel in return for military and diplomatic support, Israeli media reported.
2 min read
09 November, 2021
Khalifa Haftar may normalise relations with Israel [Getty]

Libyan warlord Khalifa Haftar may consider normalising relations with Israel in return for support in the upcoming landmark elections that could end the country’s almost decade-long war, according to reports.

Last Monday, a private plane belonging to a figure close to Haftar was spotted landing on a flight from Dubai at Tel Aviv’s Ben Gurion airport.

It was rumoured that Haftar's son, Saddam, was on board.

Saddam Haftar offered to normalise relations with Israel for the first time in Libya's history if it provided his father with diplomatic and military support to take power, according to Israeli media.

Also last week, Israeli media said that General Haftar and Saif Al-Islam Gaddafi, the son of the former Libyan ruler Muammar Gaddafi, have hired the same Israeli firm to run their respective campaigns for Libya’s first presidential election, set for 24 December.

In a step forward in the election preparations, Libya opened registration for candidates in presidential and parliamentary polls as the country seeks to move on from a decade of war.

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But despite a year of relative peace following a ceasefire between eastern and western camps, the process has been overshadowed by wrangling over the legal basis for the votes and the powers of whoever wins - sparking fears of a return to violence in the event of a contested result.

Libya has been divided between rival power centres and torn by bloody conflict involving militias, foreign fighters and militant Islamist groups since the fall of Muammar Gaddafi's regime in 2011.

Haftar, who controls most of eastern Libya, has so far resisted efforts to place his forces under the authority of the UN-backed Government of National Unity, as stipulated in the October 2020 peace agreement signed by rival Libyan factions.