An Israeli hospital recently provided life-saving treatment to a Bahraini princess, Israel’s Deputy Minister for Regional Cooperation Ayoub Kara said Monday. However, the case to which he was apparently referring took place in 2010.
Kara refused to name the princess or disclose the nature of the surgery. Although he said she had the treatment at Haifa’s Rambam Medical Center, he also refused to specify when it took place. In its aftermath, he said, he will now meet with officials from the tiny Gulf nation, and intends to use the opportunity to strengthen Jerusalem’s unofficial alliance with Sunni Arab states in the region.
A spokeswoman for Rambam told The Times of Israel that the hospital did indeed treat a Bahraini princess — but that this was in 2010. No Bahraini princess had been treated there since, she said.
Kara said the decision to provide the princess with treatment in Israel was approved by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
“In Bahrain, they didn’t really give her a chance to survive,” Kara told The Times of Israel. “At the end, we received her here, she underwent an operation, and subsequently even spent some time [at a rehabilitation center] in Nesher next to Haifa.”
The princess, who stayed in Israel for about two months but has since returned to Bahrain, he said, had been invited to undergo the operation in the United States. But she opted for treatment in Israel, according to Kara, a Druze member of Netanyahu’s Likud party.
“She said she believed that Israel was the [best] place for her to get better. She turned down the American offer. She said she wanted to undergo the operation only in Israel,” he said.
Her aides turned to Kara, he said, and he consulted with Netanyahu and other officials who gave him the green light to invite her to Israel.
Kara’s involvement in the matter led Bahraini officials to invite him to the Gulf state or to a third country to discuss how Israel and the Sunni Arab states could further intensify their cooperation, he said.
“The relationship with the Saudi[-led] coalition is very important to us,” he said. “The entire Saudi[-led] coalition wants stronger ties because the dangers they face are the same as Israel. This danger is Iran. We have many things in common today.”
Israel and Bahrain have no formal diplomatic relations. The Foreign Ministry declined to comment on Kara’s statements.