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Israeli opposition leader made secret visit to UAE


The visit last month comes among a series of recent steps by Arab regimes to embrace Israel.

Avi Gabbay

Tamara Nassar writes in The Electronic Intifida:

Leader of the Israeli Labor Party Avi Gabbay secretly visited the United Arab Emirates in December and met with senior government officials, Israel’s Channel 10 reported.

The visit last month comes among a series of recent steps by Arab regimes to embrace Israel.

Gabbay arrived in the UAE capital Abu Dhabi on 2 December on a commercial flight from Amman, accompanied by Portuguese-Israeli journalist Henrique Cymerman.

Cymerman was reportedly involved in the talks, which focused on Trump’s so-called peace plan and Iran.

While Gabbay is nominally the leader of the opposition to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s hard-right government, he shares many of its stridently anti-Arab views and supports Israeli colonization of the occupied West Bank.

Israel and the UAE have no formal diplomatic ties, but their covert collaboration dates back to the 1990s.

More recently, their alliance has been moving from the shadows into the open.

The visit was reportedly arranged by a Moroccan citizen with ties to UAE officials, who secured formal invitations for Gabbay and Cymerman to visit the country.

Gabbay returned to Israel on 4 December and met with Mossad director Yossi Cohen to brief him on what was discussed. The Mossad is Israel’s notorious spying and assassination agency.

 

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