A former senior UAE police official who alleged that the Mossad killed a senior Hamas operative in a Dubai hotel, has come out publicly in favor of his country’s normalization of relations with Israel, in his first appearance in Israeli media.
In an interview with Channel 12 on Saturday, Lt. Gen. Dhahi Khalfan Tamim, deputy head of Dubai Police and General Security, said that “the agreement is very important.” Tamim, who is also known both for his support for rapprochement with Israel and for a strange anti-Semitic twitter rant, said: “The choice of peace is the strategy that dominates the Middle East today, which is full of tensions and wars and hatred between countries.”
Israel and the United Arab Emirates reached a historic agreement on Thursday to establish full diplomatic relations, the third such deal the Jewish state has struck with an Arab state after Egypt and Jordan.
Israeli and UAE delegations will meet in the coming weeks to sign bilateral agreements regarding investment, tourism, direct flights, security and the establishment of reciprocal embassies, a White House announcement said.
The deal, which was hailed as “historic” by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and a “huge breakthrough” by US President Donald Trump, may be the first of several, according to presidential son-in-law and senior Trump adviser Jared Kushner, who called it an “icebreaker.”
According to a joint statement from Israel, the UAE and the US, Israel agreed to suspend West Bank annexation plans in exchange for the normalization of ties with the UAE.
As Dubai’s chief of police in 2010, Tamim led the investigation into the killing of Hamas’s Mahmoud Mabhouh — a co-founder of Hamas’s military wing and a procurer of arms for use by the terror group against Israel — who was found dead in a Dubai hotel room. He accused the Mossad of carrying out the operation using forged European passports.
In his interview with Channel 12, Tamim called the killing of Mabhouh “a strategic mistake by the Israeli Mossad” that occurred because “they thought they would not be exposed.”
“They may have carried out such operations in other countries and not been exposed, but in this case they were exposed,” he said, comparing the killing to acts of terror by groups like the Muslim Brotherhood and stating that he would take action to prevent any such activities no matter the perpetrator.
“If I had been aware that a crime was about to take place in Israel, for example an explosion in a restaurant with ordinary civilians in it, I would have warned the security forces in Israel,” he told Channel 12.
“Whether it is an action by the Mossad or an action by the Muslim Brotherhood or by any other body that commits a crime or an act of terrorism, I will oppose it.”
Tamim also called on Israel to come to terms with the Palestinians, stating that Jerusalem needed to “recognize a Palestinian state within borders that have been agreed at the international level.”
The senior security officer has a long history of making controversial remarks regarding Israel and the Palestinians on social media.
In 2012, he tweeted his hatred for then-president Shimon Peres, accusing him of having “killed thousands of innocent Palestinians.”
In 2013, Tamim expressed support for a conspiracy theory accusing Jews of using the Muslim Brotherhood (which he had previously stated was “not Islam”) to achieve their goal of controlling Muslims and establishing a greater Israel.
However, during the war in the Gaza Strip in 2014, Tamim called on Hamas to stop launching rockets into Israel and to return control of the territory to the Ramallah-based Fatah faction while castigated the terror group for its ties to UAE rival Qatar.
He went further in 2016, calling on Arab states to join a security coalition with Israel and stating his opposition to the creation of an independent Palestinian state.
Urging his Twitter followers not to “treat Jews as enemies,” he stated that “America is trying to get closer to Israel…the entire world is…Rapprochement will solve problems.”
“Why shouldn’t we have a coalition with the Jews against the enemies of the Middle East?” he asked, in what was widely interpreted as a reference to Iran.
Less than a month later, Tamim appeared to reverse himself, going on a bizarre Twitter rant in which he lashed out at “Jewish control” of the US and accused Israel of supporting the Islamic State terror group.
“Israel will fall on its own evil actions. I suggest to my Jewish cousins to give the Palestinians a state on 1947 borders,” Tamim wrote on March 29, 2016, apparently referring to the parameters of that year’s UN partition plan.
“Jews need psychologists to analyze their personality,” he tweeted. “They have never left a country without angering its people. In a hundred years, Americans will leave as refugees due to the oppression of our cousins.”