Senior UAE official dispatched to warn Netanyahu over potential crisis brewing
A senior United Arab Emirates government official met with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Tuesday, warning him that the Israeli government’s behavior was straining ties between the countries.
It was reported that UAE President Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, to whom he is a senior adviser, sent Khaldoon Al Mubarak to convey a message to the Israeli government regarding its treatment of the Palestinians.
“The direction of this government goes completely against the Abrahamic Accords,” public broadcaster Kan quoted Mubarak as telling Netanyahu.
“The actions of the Israeli government jeopardize any possible progress [in relations] with the UAE and other Arab countries. Some [Israeli] even politicians are advocating violence. This goes against the spirit of the Abraham Accords and current practice, and threatens regional stability.”
After a terror attack that killed two Israeli brothers in the Palestinian West Bank town of Huwara in February, Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich, echoing the calls of other MKs on the right, said the town should be “destroyed”. Later he withdrew the comment, but not before criticism poured in from around the world, including Abu Dhabi.
Mubarak, who also met with President Isaac Herzog, told Netanyahu that his government’s “escalation” against the Palestinians was creating regional instability and “playing into the hands of extremists” who he said were looking for any excuse for confrontation, Kan reported.
The Temple Mount holy site was particularly highlighted during the Islamic holy month of Ramadan, which began on Thursday, with Mubarak warning the premier that any Israeli misstep could harm relations with the UAE, Ynet news outlet reported.
Ties between Israel and the UAE were established in 2020 as part of the Abraham Accords brokered by the administration of former US president Donald Trump.
According to a Channel 12 report, Mubarak warned Netanyahu that instability would have a detrimental effect on Emirati financial investments in Israel.
“Your situation does not look good and may affect our investments,” Mubarak apparently said.
Responding to that report, the Prime Minister’s Office said the report was “inaccurate,” adding that “the Prime Minister is in charge of Israel’s foreign relations responsibly.”
Netanyahu was set for his first official visit to Abu Dhabi in January, but Al Nahyan canceled the trip after National Security Minister Itamar Ben Gvir visited the Temple Mount, which the UAE declared the minister’s “storm in the courtyard of the Al-Aqsa Mosque.”
Since then, Netanyahu has not been invited again to Abu Dhabi, and he told members of his government that they are prohibited from visiting the Gulf state until he pays the UAE capital an official visit, Channel 12 reported .
Netanyahu is said to have laid down a similar rule for the United States, which has yet to invite the Israeli Prime Minister on an official visit.
The Israeli government has repeatedly drawn attention to the Biden administration, which summoned Israeli Ambassador to the US Mike Herzog on Tuesday for a rare unscheduled meeting.
Although that meeting was directly related to the Knesset’s approval of the repeal of part of the 2005 Deterrence Law, which the United States said is contrary to earlier agreements made between the countries, a US official told the Irish Times of Israel that it was the meeting. culminating in a series of events, including the controversial judicial reform, expansion of the West Bank settlements and inflammatory statements made by Smotrich and other members of the government.