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Eight major events that conduct to the historic deal between UAE and Israel

On Thursday, a historic peace was announced between the UAE and Israel, this agreement comes to normalize relations between the two countries, in exchange of the immediate suspension of Israeli plans to attach Palestinian lands.

The agreements between the two countries that have been signed address a wide range of domains including direct flights, telecommunications, the establishment of reciprocal embassies, and healthcare. Here is a timeline of the major events that open potential ways to diplomatic relations:

November 2018: Israeli anthem played at Abu Dhabi sports tournament

Over a judo tournament that organized in the Grand Slam stadium of Abu Dhabi, the national anthem of Israel rung out after that the Israeli athlete Sagi Muki won the gold medal in the competition.

The Sports Minister of Israeli, Miri Regev, who was presented in the event, cried and sang along, and she became the first Israeli minister that present in a big event of sports in the Gulf, she also visited the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque in Abu Dhabi.

February 2019: UAE launches Year of Tolerance

Last year, the UAE launches the year of Tolerance that marked the first visit by Pope Francis to the Arabian Peninsula, also important interfaith meetings which included Jewish rabbis from the entire world.

The American Rabbi Marc Schneier, who participated in Year of Tolerance events, said that the UAE’s Year of Tolerance in 2019 was really set the country’s public interfaith initiatives in motion. In the same context, the UAE declared the construction of an interfaith complex in the capital Abu Dhabi that will house a Jewish synagogue, a Christian church, and an Islamic mosque. Moreover, this initiative stimulated Jewish resident of the UAE Elli Kriel to launch the first kosher eatery in the Gulf region.

May 2019: First Chief Rabbi of the Emirates appointed

Rabbi Yehuda Sarna, a chaplain at New York University last May, was nominated by the Jewish Community of the Emirates as its first Chief Rabbi. Therefore, the community is the first new Jewish community to be placed on the Arabian Peninsula in centuries. Sarna informed Al Arabiya English that the country welcomed the establishment of the Jewish community, saying: Its commitment to tolerance is real, not only in word but also in deed.

December 2019: Israel confirms participation in Dubai’s Expo 2020

In December, and although the non-presence of diplomatic relations, the UAE declared that it would allow Israelis to enter the country for the 2020 World Expo in Dubai. Otherwise, in April, Israel affirmed that it would participate in the world exposition that is now organized in the next year in Dubai after it was postponed a year because of the coronavirus pandemic.

May 2020: UAE’s Etihad carries coronavirus aid to Palestinians via Israel

In May and June, Etihad Airways of Abu Dhabi declared that it had operated two cargo flights transporting medical aid for the coronavirus to be delivered to the Palestinians through Israel. The plane arrived at Ben Gurion airport in Tel Aviv.

June 2020: UAE Ambassador publishes op-ed in Israeli newspaper

The UAE Ambassador to the US Youssef Al Otaiba, on June 12, published an op-ed in the top newspaper of Israel, warning against annexing Palestinian land in the occupied West Bank.

June 2020: UAE’s FM Gargash speaks to American Jewish Committee

Whereas, on June 16, UAE Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Dr. Anwar Gargash informed the leading US Jewish organization, the American Jewish Committee, that the UAE was clearly against any annexation as being proposed by the current Israeli government. He also mentioned the possibility of cooperation between the UAE and Israel on COVID-19.

Gargash said: I think we can come to a point…[where] we say we disagree with you on this…but at the same time there are areas such as COVID, technology, and other things that we can actually work together on, he also discussed the aid of UAE that sent to the Palestinians through Israel.

Gargash reported: We have no relationship with Israel, but we have recognized that this is an area where we need to cooperate together because this is one that does touch human beings.

June 2020: UAE and Israel announce COVID-19 collaboration

On June 25, the UAE declared that two Emirati private companies would cooperate with two Israeli companies on a COVID-19 initiative, and the statement carried by state news agency WAM reported: This scientific and medical agreement forms part of constructive cooperation aimed at addressing the COVID-19 pandemic to safeguard the health of the region’s peoples.

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