UAE and Israel press ahead with ties after Gaza cease-fire
DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — Israel's top diplomat to the United Arab Emirates attended a ceremony in Dubai on the grounds of the Arabian Peninsula's first permanent exhibition to commemorate the Holocaust. Hours earlier, he'd attended an event establishing a joint venture between an Israeli and Emirati company.
The receptions on Wednesday were the clearest indication since a cease-fire in the Gaza Strip came into effect last week that the devastating 11-day war between Hamas and Israel and the violence that gripped Jerusalem and Al-Aqsa Mosque in the days preceding it have had no visible impact on the UAE's commitment to establishing deep ties with the state of Israel.
“What we see here is the exact opposite of what we see in Gaza... What we see here in the whole normalization process is a departure from the past,” Israeli Ambassador Eitan Na’eh said.
At least 254 Palestinians were killed, including 66 children, in the Gaza Strip during the war. Another 1,948 people were wounded, according to Gaza’s health ministry, which does not differentiate between fighters and civilians. Twelve people were killed in Israel, including an Israeli soldier and two children. The bombardment of the blockaded Gaza Strip destroyed about 1,000 homes and badly damaged hundreds more. Hospitals, clinics and main sewage and water lines were also damaged or destroyed.
The violence, which erupted in the final days of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, angered citizens across Gulf Arab states, some of whom expressed support for Palestinians and opposition to Israel on social media or in limited street protests.
The UAE government and its top officials publicly expressed concern over the violence in east Jerusalem and condemned the storming of Al-Aqsa Mosque compound by Israeli security...