Saudi Arabia ‘buying Israeli drones’ via South Africa

The latest Jewish News

Read this week’s digital edition

Click Here

Saudi Arabia ‘buying Israeli drones’ via South Africa

An MQ-9 Reaper, a hunter-killer surveillance UAV

Saudi Arabia has being quietly buying Israeli drones despite the two states having no formal political or diplomatic links, according to a Saudi analyst known for revealing details about the kingdom’s royal family.

Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs), of which Israel is a world leader, are often used for surveillance and offensive military operations in warzones, and are being supplied to Saudi Arabia via South Africa, according to the analyst known as ‘Mujtahidd.’

“Saudi Arabia buys Israeli drones through South Africa,” the opposition activist wrote on Twitter. “These drones later arrive from South Africa, dismantled, to Saudi Arabia, where they are assembled.”

He added: “Notwithstanding the political controversies between Israel and South Africa, the military cooperation between both states strongly continues.”

His claims, made on Wednesday, came in response to an announcement from the Saudi Defence Ministry that it would construct a UAV manufacturing plant with help from South Africa.

“The report aims to hide the fact that Saudi Arabia intends to purchase drones from Israel via South Africa,” he wrote.

His comments are likely to heap pressure on Saudi officials, but corroborate Israeli analysts’ comments about a “silent alliance” between Jerusalem and Sunni Muslim states, of which Saudi Arabia is perhaps the most influential.

For decades, Saudi Arabia held back from intervening in regional conflicts, but in recent years it has sent troops into Bahrain and Yemen, as it has sought to restrain Iranian influence in the affairs of its neighbours.

Support your Jewish community. Support your Jewish News

Thank you for helping to make Jewish News the leading source of news and opinion for the UK Jewish community. Today we're asking for your invaluable help to continue putting our community first in everything we do.

For as little as £5 a month you can help sustain the vital work we do in celebrating and standing up for Jewish life in Britain.

Jewish News holds our community together and keeps us connected. Like a synagogue, it’s where people turn to feel part of something bigger. It also proudly shows the rest of Britain the vibrancy and rich culture of modern Jewish life.

You can make a quick and easy one-off or monthly contribution of £5, £10, £20 or any other sum you’re comfortable with.

100% of your donation will help us continue celebrating our community, in all its dynamic diversity...


Being a community platform means so much more than producing a newspaper and website. One of our proudest roles is media partnering with our invaluable charities to amplify the outstanding work they do to help us all.


There’s no shortage of oys in the world but Jewish News takes every opportunity to celebrate the joys too, through projects like Night of Heroes, 40 Under 40 and other compelling countdowns that make the community kvell with pride.


In the first collaboration between media outlets from different faiths, Jewish News worked with British Muslim TV and Church Times to produce a list of young activists leading the way on interfaith understanding.


Royal Mail issued a stamp honouring Holocaust hero Sir Nicholas Winton after a Jewish News campaign attracted more than 100,000 backers. Jewish Newsalso produces special editions of the paper highlighting pressing issues including mental health and Holocaust remembrance.

Easy access

In an age when news is readily accessible, Jewish News provides high-quality content free online and offline, removing any financial barriers to connecting people.

Voice of our community to wider society

The Jewish News team regularly appears on TV, radio and on the pages of the national press to comment on stories about the Jewish community. Easy access to the paper on the streets of London also means Jewish News provides an invaluable window into the community for the country at large.

We hope you agree all this is worth preserving.

read more: