Israel has officially joined the International Security Alliance (ISA), an Abu Dhabi-based group created to fight organised and transnational crime, the Jerusalem Post has reported. Public Security Minister Amir Ohana described the move as "an important step in promoting peace and security in our region" during an ISA forum on Wednesday evening.
"On behalf of the government of Israel, we are proud that you have chosen us to be members of this important alliance," said Ohana. "Progress with the Arab world alongside the excellent relations with our European counterparts will allow us to contribute to an alliance that touches on some of the most important issues in the areas of safety and homeland security." He thanked his UAE counterpart, Sheikh Saif Bin Zayed Al-Nahyan, who also serves as Deputy Prime Minister.
A statement from Al-Nahyan published by the WAM official news agency said that Israel's membership of the group will help strengthen the alliance. He pointed out that international cooperation had helped to tackle major global challenges, such as the coronavirus pandemic, "for the good of the world and humanity at large."
As the ISA's tenth member, Israel stands alongside the UAE, France, Bahrain, Italy, Senegal, Spain, Singapore, Morocco and Slovakia. The alliance was founded in 2018 by the UAE and France and its role is to "confront organised and transnational crime of different types, develop means of prevention, and ensure the sustainability of security and stability for these countries in their endeavours to promote security and growth to their people."
This move by Israel follows its normalisation of relations with the UAE, Bahrain and Sudan. Yesterday, Morocco became the fourth country since August to strike a deal to normalise relations with the colonial-settler state.
The Palestinians have been critical of the normalisation deals. They accuse these Arab countries of setting back the cause of peace by abandoning a longstanding demand that Israel should give up land for a Palestinian state before it can receive such recognition.