Israel and Saudi Arabia may seem unlikely allies in regional politics but recent developments have pushed Riyadh and Tel Aviv closer together, setting the stage for the Middle East’s strangest bedfellows. The covert ties between Israel and Saudi Arabia, based on an alliance against the “common threat” of Iran, are part of a new regional paradigm, analysts say. The inclusion of Israel as a potential partner reflects a break from the fragmented order in the Middle East, where since the early 2000s the United States has sought to create a hegemonic system to dominate West-friendly states, brought about by either elections or deposition. Saudi Arabia, capitalising on its religious standing in the Arab world, broke through the ranks to establish its own order, one that included seeking ties with Israel on the basis of land for peace. In tandem, it worked on the preservation of its Sunni identity and alliances to counterbalance Shia Iran’s influence.