A former general who served as Israel’s chief liaison officer to the Palestinians will attend next week’s U.S.-led conference on the Palestinian economy in Bahrain in a private capacity, a person briefed on the matter said on Tuesday.
Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu confirmed on Tuesday that Israel would be there, though he did not say who the delegates would be.
“A very important conference, which we welcome, will be held in Bahrain very soon – a U.S. effort to bring about a better future and solve the region’s problems,” Netanyahu said. “Israelis will be present, of course.”
Israel Radio said a Israeli hospital director and several Israeli social activists were also expected to participate.
The White House decided against including the Israeli government in the June 25-26 event in the capital Manama after the Palestinians boycotted it, making do instead with inviting a small Israeli business delegation.
U.S. officials have not formally announced those delegates.
A source briefed on the invitees said they include Yoav Mordechai, a former general who stepped down as head of Israel’s military-run COGAT liaison agency last year and now heads Novard, an international consultancy.
Mordechai will be joined in Manama by his Novard partner, the source said, declining to identify the second man by name as he is also a veteran of Israel’s security services.
Reached by phone, Novard declined comment.
Known to Israelis and Palestinians alike by his nickname Poly, the Arabic-fluent Mordechai was a dominant force in Israel’s efforts to coordinate security in Yehudah and Shomron and stave off fighting with Hamas.