Libya Tribune

By Robert Cusack

An east Libyan minister with links to the head of the Libyan National Army, General Khalifa Haftar, was photographed next to two prominent Israelis on Saturday.

Omar al-Gawairi, the Minister of Media, Culture and Antiquities for the General National Congress in Beida ‘secretly’ attended a conference on the right of return for Libyan Jews in Rhodes, Greece.

Gawairi was photographed next to Yehiel “Hilik” Bar, Deputy Speaker of the Israeli Knesset and Ayoub Kara, Israel’s Minister of Communications, but made no attempt to publicise his appearance on social media.

The conference, held at the Rodos Palace Hotel from 29 June – 2 July, was held to mark the 50th anniversary of the “last exodus of Jews from Libya”, due to the 1967 war with Israel.

The minister’s appearance may be considered controversial, as Libya does not currently recognise Israel and General Haftar himself once fought against Israel in the Yom Kippur War of 1973.

This is not the first time that Haftar as been linked with Israelis.