Israel has appointed its former ambassador to Turkey, Eitan Na'eh, as the country's top diplomat in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) in preparation for the establishment of a permanent embassy, theÂ KanÂ public broadcasterÂ reported today.
Na'eh will become the first Israeli to have full diplomatic status in the Gulf state following the normalisation of ties with Israel last year.
According toÂ KanÂ news, Na'eh will serve as an acting envoy until a permanent ambassador is chosen.
This comes a month after Israel's foreign ministry announced plans to establish its embassy and consulate in the UAE by the first week of this year.
"We are hoping to have the inauguration [of the embassy] by the end December or the first week of January 2021. We will have the embassy in Abu Dhabi and the Consulate General will be in Dubai," an Israeli ministry spokesperson told theÂ Khaleej Times.
Na'eh previouslyÂ servedÂ as ambassador to Turkey from 2016 until he wasÂ ordered to leaveÂ by Ankara after Israeli occupation forces usedÂ brute forceÂ to disperse unarmed Palestinian protesters who had gathered at the Gaza-Israel fence in opposition of the US' decision toÂ relocateÂ its embassy to Jerusalem in 2018.
However, last month, Turkey appointed aÂ new ambassador to IsraelÂ for the first time in over two years,Â Al-MonitorÂ reported.
Ufuk Ulutas, chair of the Centre for Strategic Research at the Turkish Foreign Ministry, studied Hebrew and Middle Eastern politics at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem and is described as "very polished", "very clever" and "very pro-Palestinian" by sources familiar with him.
Reports claim Ankara's decision to appoint an envoy is a step towards improving relations with the US as President-elect Joe Biden takes office.
The Palestinian leadership condemned the establishment of ties with the occupation as a "treacherous stab to the Palestinian cause".