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Union of Muslim Scholars condemns escalating UAE normalisation with Israel

Secretary-General of the IUMS, Ali al-Qaradaghi [Twitter]
Secretary-General of the IUMS, Ali al-Qaradaghi [Twitter]

Secretary-General of International Union for Muslim Scholars, Ali Qaradaghi, condemned on Saturday escalating UAE normalisation with Israel.

On Twitter, the officials wrote: "We are still with justice and against oppression," referring to the prisoners inside the UAE's prisons. "Stop oppression and aggression," he added.

"You hug the sons of Zion and humiliate the true believers."

On 9 June, a second UAE plane landed in Israel's Ben Gurion airport. The two flights took off directly from Abu Dhabi and headed to Israel. Emirati authorities claimed they were carrying medical supplies for Palestinians to help with their fight against the coronavirus, however Palestinians said they had not been informed about the delivery and refused to accept it.

Despite criticism from Palestinian factions, over the past year there have been a growing number of high profile Israeli ministers' visits to a series of Gulf countries. The Bahraini foreign minister call for Israel to be accepted in the Middle East, and Israel claims it plans to open a diplomatic mission in Oman.

In December 2018, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu claimed that Oman had allowed Israeli planes to fly over its airspace, another step in the normalisation of relations between Israel and its Arab neighbours.

READ: Arab democracy and Israel

Israeli-Emirati relations reached new heights in 2018, against the backdrop of Israel's efforts to foster normalisation with a number of Arab countries. In August, Israeli journalist Edy Cohen claimed that an Emirati pilot participated in the bombing of Palestinian targets in the besieged Gaza Strip during his training on Israeli Air Force F-35 fighters in July. Cohen also accused Dubai's Deputy Chairman of Police and Public Security, General Dhahi Khalfan, of being complicit in assassinating Hamas leader Mahmoud Mabhouh in Dubai in 2010.

In June, an exposé by the New Yorker revealed that Israel and the UAE have been engaged in secret normalisation talks since as early as the 1990s. The report disclosed that "the secret relationship between Israel and the UAE can be traced back to a series of meetings in a nondescript office in Washington D.C. after the signing of the Oslo Accords." These meetings discussed the possibility of the UAE purchasing F-16 fighter jets from the US, which are known to be comprised of Israeli technology. The Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi, Mohammed Bin Zayed, also gave his blessing for delegations of influential Jewish-Americans to be taken to Abu Dhabi to meet with Emirati officials and establish an intelligence-sharing relationship.

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