Saudi Report: UAE Mulls Downgrading Representation Level in Israel

The Israeli flag and the UAE flag seen outside the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange in Tel Aviv. (Miriam Alster/Flash90)

The United Arab Emirates is considering a move that would effectively downgrade its diplomatic representation in Israel, Saudi news outlet Elaph reported Tuesday.

According to the report, Abu Dhabi has instructed its ambassador not to meet any Israeli official, MK or minister, as well as not to attend official events with Israeli ministers and politicians in attendance.

Emirati sources told Elaph that Abu Dhabi was surprised by Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s lack of response to the actions and statements of Religious Zionism Party MKs, which they view as harming the stability of the region, inflaming hatred and serving only extremists.

In particular, it cited the statements of Finance Minister Betzalel Smotrich, who said during a speech in Paris this week that “there is no such thing as a Palestinian people,” as well as his previous statement calling to “wipe out” the Palestinian village of Huwara, for which he ultimately apologized.

The report added that Jordan, Egypt and Morocco are considering similar measures. However, an Israeli official quoted by Elaph said that there was no intention on behalf of the UAE to reduce ties with Israel.

The UAE was one of four Arab nations to normalize ties with Israel in 2020 as part of the U.S.-brokered Abraham Accords.

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