image Photo: GPO

Israel, UAE ink tourism, health deals

Israel and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) signed cooperation agreements in the tourism and healthcare sectors.

By Erin Viner

This, according to announcements by diplomats and state media on Twitter,

The healthcare partnership includes the establishment of a center for disaster medicine in Abu Dhabi by physicians from the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, UAE government officials said.

In a separate deal, ministers from the two countries signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to boost tourism activity, said the Israeli Consulate in Dubai.

The UAE and Bahrain signed United States-brokered normalization agreements with Israel at the White House in 2020 as part of the Abraham Accords. The 2 Gulf nations share common concerns with Israel about Iran and its allied proxy forces in the region.

Israel has also offered to help the UAE counter attacks  by Yemen’s Iran-aligned Houthi insurgents.

“We stand ready to offer you security and intelligence support in order to help you protect your citizens from similar attacks,” Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett wrote in an official letter sent to Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed al-Nahyan, in which also he relayed Jerusalem’s deep condolences for deadly terrorist strikes that killed 3 and wounded 6 others in January.

“I have ordered the Israeli security establishment to provide their counterparts in the UAE with any assistance, should you be interested,” added Prime Minister Bennett. “Israel is committed to working closely with you in the ongoing battle against extremist forces in the region, and we will continue to partner with you to defeat our common enemies,” he added.

Bennett and Sheikh Mohammed held talks in Abu Dhabi in December last year, the first ever public meeting between leaders of their nations.

Israeli President Isaac Herzog paid a condolence call to the Crown Prince to condemn the attacks, during which he expressed full backing to the UAE and its right to act in self defense.

The Islamist Houthis have frequently launched cross-border missile and drone attacks on Saudi Arabia – but have claimed few such attacks on the United Arab Emirates (UAE).