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Israel signs trade deal with UAE, its biggest with any Arab country


On Monday, August 17, 2020, the Israeli flags will fly beside those of United Arab Emirates on a side road in Netanya (Israel).

Kobi Wolf | Bloomberg | Getty Images

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates — Israel and the United Arab Emirates on Tuesday penned a multi-billion dollar free trade agreement, the latest product of the two countries’ historic normalization deal in 2020 known as the Abraham Accords.

This trade agreement, which aims to double bilateral trade between Israel and Arab nations over the next five-years, is unprecedented in its size. According to Israel’s economic minister, it covers 96% trade between the Middle Eastern countries. It also includes $885 million in annual bilateral trade.

To illustrate the sheer speed and scope of trade between the UAE and Israel that’s taken place since the two established official relations in August of 2020, that bilateral figure is more than twice the volume of Israel’s trade with Egypt in 2021, which was $330 million — and Israel and Egypt have had a peace agreement in place since 1979.

After months of negotiations, Orna Barbivai, Israel’s Minister for Economy and Industry, and Abdulla bin Touq Al Marri (UAE Minister of Economy), signed the agreement in Dubai.

Thani Al Zeyoudi, Emirati Trade Minister, tweeted that the signing marked “a new chapter” in Middle East history. The agreement will “accelerate growth, create job opportunities, and bring about a new era in peace, stability, prosperity, across the region.”

Jon Medved is the CEO of OurCrowd, a crowdfunding platform that allows for investors to invest in Israel. He also serves as a venture capitalist in Israel’s technology scene. Trust between Israel, Israel, and Jordan is essential for more investment.

Medved said that although trust can take a while to build, he believes there are a lot more goodwill than you could imagine. He has made investments in UAE, hired Gulf workers, and obtained regulatory status through Abu Dhabi Global Market.

Medved explained that while trust isn’t something you can snap your fingers to instantly create, I believe the steps being taken at a political and a personal level are creating trust that will result in extraordinary business opportunities.

The renewed violence between Israelis & Palestinians prompted the signing of this agreement.

Israeli nationalists attacked the Al-Aqsa compound at Jerusalem. Some physically assaulted Palestinians while others used tear gas to spray a Palestinian journalist. Demonstrators had assembled to mark the Six Day War of 1967’s capture Jerusalem’s Old City.

Monday’s statement by the UAE’s foreign minister condemned “storming” at Al-Aqsa compound, claiming that it was perpetrated under Israeli security forces. The foreign ministry asked for the Israeli authorities to “take responsibility for reducing escalated tensions and ending any attacks or practices that contribute to them continuing.”

The West Bank also has other cities and towns also saw violence and attacks on homes in Palestinian neighborhoods by groups of Israelis. Over 160 Palestinians sustained injuries, some with live bullets, after they staged a counter-protest. according to the Palestinian Red Crescent.

Naftali Bennett, Israeli Prime Minister, condemned extremist behavior. He also promised to arrest anyone who was involved.

Media who were invited to sign the agreement on Monday were informed by Reuters that they couldn’t attend. Reuters also reported that there was no explanation for this sudden shift.

Al Aqsa refers to the Old City of majority Arab East Jerusalem. Israel annexed it in 1967, but international recognition is lacking. The United Nations considers Israel’s occupation in the Palestinian territory a violation international law.

The UAE is a Muslim nation that supports Palestinian statehood and has been growing their economic relations with Israel. However, the two countries have had frequent political disagreements over the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.