UAE suspends Israeli arms deals until far-right govt ‘brought under control’: Report
Tel Aviv and Abu Dhabi have developed deep economic and security ties since the signing of the Abraham Accords in 2020
By News Desk - March 13 2023

(Photo Credit: EPA)

The UAE has temporarily suspended the purchase of Israeli defense systems due to the chaotic actions of Jewish supremacist officials belonging to the far-right coalition government of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, according to Israel’s Channel 12.

“Until we can ascertain that Prime Minister Netanyahu has a government he can control, we can’t work together,” UAE President Mohammed bin Zayed (MbZ) reportedly told Israeli officials.

Channel 12 noted, however, that intelligence and security cooperation between Tel Aviv and Abu Dhabi is continuing.

Netanyahu’s office vehemently denied the report, calling it “baseless” and saying that Israel and the UAE are constantly holding “fruitful diplomatic contact … including today.”

Earlier this month, US news outlet Axios revealed that Netanyahu’s planned trip to the UAE – initially scheduled for January – was postponed due to “Emirati concerns” that the visit would exacerbate “regional tensions with Iran.”

No new date has yet been set for this visit.

Netanyahu said following his victory in last year’s elections, his first foreign trip as prime minister would be to the UAE.

According to Channel 12, Emirati leaders are particularly peeved over National Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir’s recent raid of the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound and the statements made by Israeli Finance Minister, Bezalel Smotrich, calling for Palestinian villages to be “wiped out.”

Smotrich’s comments were made after Israeli settlers carried out a pogrom in Huwara, killing one Palestinian, injuring nearly 400, and destroying dozens of homes and vehicles. This rampage also drew the ire of the UAE.

Last year, Tel Aviv and Abu Dhabi inked their first arms deal since the signing of a normalization agreement in 2020. At the time, this was described as “one in a series of even bigger deals.”

In recent weeks, the two nations unveiled a jointly developed, unmanned naval vessel and coordinated to strike down a resolution at the UN Security Council for a “complete and immediate” cessation of Israeli settlement activity in Palestinian territory.

Israel and the UAE also maintain deep security cooperation in Yemen and have previously worked together in lobbying US officials to re-list the Ansarallah resistance movement as a foreign terrorist organization (FTO).

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