Israel and Sudan: The Origins of Clandestine Relations (1954-1964)

Elie Podeh, Andrew Felsenthal

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The years 1954-1964 witnessed two phases of clandestine contacts pursued by Israeli and Sudanese representatives. During the first phase, 1954-1958, Israel developed secret ties with the Sudanese Umma party Israel in an attempt to establish the southern tier of the Periphery Alliance, with Ethiopia and Sudan against Nasser's Egypt but the attempt was sabotaged by the 1958 'Abboud coup. During the second phase, beginning in 1961, the Division for Politico-Economic Planning (DPEP) of Israel's Ministry of Foreign Affairs developed secret ties with certain Sudanese officials with the aim of helping Sudan compete with its primary competitor in the cotton market, Nasser's Egypt, in order to deal a blow to the Egyptian economy and the Arab boycott of Israel. Although at first the DPEP supplied the 'Abboud regime with anonymous information, over time the Sudanese partners recognized and approve the identity of their Israeli benefactor. This article reveals the extent of the secret ties between Israel and Sudan and the ingenious ways in which Israel fought against Egypt and the Arab Boycott.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)1-28
Number of pages28
JournalIsrael Studies
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 2023

Bibliographical note

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  • Arab Boycott
  • Cotton
  • Foreign Policy
  • Ibrahim 'Abboud
  • Israel
  • Periphery Alliance
  • Secret Diplomacy
  • Southern Triangle
  • Sudan
  • Trident
  • Umma Party


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