While Washington condemned the Sudanese military junta for overthrowing the transitional government, Israel supported the putschists.

Israel and the US are on the two opposing sides when it comes to taking a stand on the ongoing military coup in Sudan.  

For Tel Aviv, Sudan is an ally, a country that was quick to jump onto last year's normalisation deals brokered by the former US President Donald Trump between Israel and several countries. 

In response, Trump had promised Sudan that it would be excluded from the list of countries the US accuses of sponsoring international terrorism. Trump's offer appeared tempting as Khartoum had previously paid $335 million to the victims of terror attacks at the US embassies in Kenya and Tanzania in 1998. 

But within Sudan, the public opinion was divided over the country's normalisation with Israel. The fault lines were visible so clearly that one could easily tell that the Sudanese military was eager to take Trump's offer, while its civilian government led by Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok was against any active rapprochement with the Zionist regime.

Aware of these internal dynamics, Israel remained in touch exclusively with the Sudanese army and intelligence. The bilateral ties between Israel and Sudan's military leadership continued to foster and by February 2020, the former Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu met Sudan's military general Abdel Fattah al-Burhan in Uganda. 

A year later, Sudan became a signatory to the so-called Abraham Accords, joining the Trump-brokered agreement after the UAE, Bahrain and Morocco.  

But Israel cosying up to the Sudanese military and not taking the civilian government on board had begun to irk the new US administration led by President Joe Biden. 

As the coup in Sudan unfolded earlier this week with the arrest of Prime Minister Hamdok and several ministers, an Israeli journalist Barak Ravid made a serious allegation against the Israeli state on Twitter. 

"Several Israeli government officials have been stirring up domestic politics in Sudan in recent weeks. This raises big question marks about what Israel knew about what is happening now in Khartoum and how much its moves have affected what is happening now," Ravid tweeted in Hebrew. 

Israel Hayom, a Hebrew language newspaper published from Tel Aviv, ran a story with another startling revelation. Quoting an unnamed Israeli official, the newspaper alleged that Israel was supportive of the military intervention and  General Al Burhan ruling the country because "Al-Burhan is more inclined to strengthen ties with the United States and Israel” than Prime Minister Hamdok.  

"The coup was almost inevitable because the prime minister had been at odds with the military for several years and it was obvious that this would reach a decision point," the unnamed Israeli official purportedly tells Israel Hayom. 

But for the US, the coup is unacceptable. Unlike its ally Israel, Washington was quick to suspend $700 million of aid to Sudan and called on the military leaders to "immediately release all detained politicians", including Prime Minister Hamdok. 

Washington's tough stance against the putschists should worry Tel Aviv, as its normalisation process squarely relied on the Sudanese military. Former Israeli premier Netanyahu did not care about establishing any communication with the country's civilian leaders, and now with new allegations about Tel Aviv's possible role in the ongoing coup emerging from Israel, Netanyahu's successor Naftali Bennet finds himself boxed into a corner. 

The US State Department spokesperson Ned Price made it clear on October 25 that "the normalization effort between Israel and Sudan is something that will have to be evaluated" in light of the Sudanese military overthrowing the transitional civilian administration and using force to quell pro-democracy protests in the country. 

Source: TRT World