Saddam Haftar visited Tel Aviv last week for a secret meeting, Haaretz reports, hinting at a deal in which the Haftars offer Israel normalisation of ties in exchange for military and diplomatic support.

Libyan warlord Khalifa Haftar promises to launch diplomatic ties with Jerusalem if he is elected head of Libya's government, following presidential elections on December 24.
Libyan warlord Khalifa Haftar promises to launch diplomatic ties with Jerusalem if he is elected head of Libya's government, following presidential elections on December 24. (Reuters)

Libyan warlord Khalifa Haftar's son, Saddam Haftar, has visited Israel in pursuit of military and diplomatic assistance.

Last Monday, a jet belonging to Haftar took off from Dubai and landed at Ben Gurion Airport for 90 minutes, before flying to Libya, reported Israeli newspaper Haaretz.

In exchange for Israeli aid, Haftar promises to launch diplomatic ties with Tel Aviv if he is elected head of Libya's government, following presidential elections on December 24, the paper reported.

PR companies and strategic advisers from France and the United Arab Emirates also joined Saddam during his 90-minute stop in Tel Aviv, the news outlet said.

READ MORE: How Khalifa Haftar’s secret ties with Israel fuel chaos in Libya

Upcoming election

It is not clear whom Saddam Haftar met during his visit to Tel Aviv, but he is considered his father’s right-hand man, with the warlord’s health fragile, the paper wrote.

Libya has had little peace or stability since the 2011 NATO-backed uprising against Muammar Gaddafi. 

It split in 2014 between warring eastern and western camps with rival administrations based in each region.

Haftar is widely expected to stand as a presidential candidate, but is despised by many in western Libya for the devastating offensive he launched against the capital in 2019.

Haftar, supported by the United Arab Emirates, Egypt, Russia, and France, among others, carried out a military onslaught to topple the Tripoli-based internationally recognised government for control of the North African country.

On February 5, Libya's rival political groups agreed in UN-mediated talks to form an interim unity government to lead the country to elections this December.

Then in early October, parliament split the dates of the vote by postponing legislative elections until January.

As the bickering over the election timetable has dragged on, low-level fighting between rival militias has punctured the ceasefire.

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Source: TRTWorld and agencies