Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called senior American officials recently to urge that Washington not abandon its support for Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman amid growing criticism over the killing of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi in Istanbul, according to multiple reports. He denounced what he called "the demonization of Saudi Arabia".
Israel and Saudi Arabia do not have diplomatic relations but share intelligence about their mutual enemies, especially Iran.
A critic of Mohammed bin Salman's reform programme in Saudi Arabia, Khashoggi was killed after entering the Saudi consulate in Istanbul a month ago on October 2.
A Thursday report in The Washington Post said Netanyahu told Trump administration officials that bin Salman was a key strategic partner and a linchpin of the alliance against Iranian encroachment in the region.
WASHINGTON, Nov 1 - Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on Thursday it would be a "handful more weeks" before the United States had enough evidence to impose sanctions in response to the killing of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul.
It emerged this week that bin Salman called Khashoggi a "dangerous Islamist" in a phone call with advisor to Donald Trump, Jared Kushner, just before Turkish police said they believed the missing journalist was dead.
The murder of the royal insider-turned-critic has provoked widespread outrage and fuelled an worldwide debate about arms deliveries to Saudi Arabia. "He denied such claims repeatedly over the past several years", the family said.
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MbS, Saudi Arabia's de facto leader, said: "The incident that happened is very painful". The Saudi attorney general then acknowledged that Khashoggi was killed in a premeditated murder.
But on Wednesday Turkey said he was strangled immediately after entering the consulate and his body dismembered "in accordance with plans made in advance".
"We hope the United States reciprocates in kind", Prince Turki, a royal family member, said in remarks at the National Council on U.S. Riyadh initially denied any role in his disappearance, but under pressure from Turkish authorities it eventually identified 18 suspects in the case.
But analysts say the relationship between Saudi Arabia - which has at times tolerated and abetted the loosely defined political movement - and the group is more nuanced.
What has his fiancée said?
"If the democracies of the world do not take genuine steps to bring to justice the perpetrators of this brazen, callous act - one that has caused universal outrage among their citizens - what moral authority are they left with?, " she asked.