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Saturday, September 30, 2023

Dubai eyes $5 bn trade with Israel as Saudi prince highlights Palestinians woes

While on one hand, Gulf states have attempted to occupy a place in the good books of Israel, Saudi Arabia appears to take a tough line on the Jewish state.

The Chairman of Dubai Ports (DP) World, the biggest port operator in the city, Sultan Ahmed bin Sulayem has said that trade between the United Arab Emirates and Israel is expected to reach a figure of $5 billion in the initial period. He claimed that not only will it reach that ambitious total but will most likely grow past it in no time.

Sultan Ahmed bin Sulayem said: “We estimate at least $5 billion of trade will happen between our countries in the beginning and this will grow.”

It’s pertinent to mention that UAE was among the list of Gulf countries to formalize relations with Israel on Sept 15 this year, in a major policy shift from the decades-old approach of seeking resolution of the Palestinian issue as a precursor to any establishment of ties. It earned the ire of numerous Muslim countries, but more specifically the Palestinians who felt abandoned and left in the cold by the brotherly nation’s acceptance of their oppressors.

Bahrain and Sudan followed suit, by formally establishing relations with the Jewish state.

Read more: Saudi Prince, close to King Salman attacks Israeli officials

UAE facing greater threats in the cyber domain?  

In a related development, UAE’s Head of Cyber Security Mohamed Hamad al-Kuwaiti said that ever since his country and Israel developed a working relationship, it has been a major target of cyberattacks.

During an onstage interview at a conference in Dubai, he said: “Our relationship, for example, with the normalization with Israel really opened a whole huge attacks from some other activists against the UAE.”

According to Kuwaiti, the financial sector was targeted but did not reveal if any damages were conceded.

Read more: UAE target of cyber attacks after Israel deal, official says

Is KSA taking a solo flight?

While on one hand, Gulf states have attempted to occupy a place in the good books of Israel, Saudi Arabia appears to take a tough line on the Jewish state.

A prominent Saudi Prince Turki bin Faisal Al Saud, at the Manama Dialogue held in Bahrain, taking the advantage of the Israeli foreign minister’s presence gave fiery remarks by contrasting what he described as Israel’s perception of being “peace-loving upholders of high moral principles” versus what he described as a far-darker Palestinian reality of living under a “Western colonising” power.

Israel has “incarcerated [Palestinians] in concentration camps under the flimsiest of security accusations – young and old, women and men, who are rotting there without recourse to justice”, Prince Turki said.

“They are demolishing homes as they wish and they assassinate whomever they want,” he added.

Read more: Palestinian teen killed in clashes with Israeli army: govt

Such remarks by the Kingdom’s Prince caught the Israeli FM off guard, as goodwill with Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates advances following the formal recognition of each other.