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Israel’s trade with Arab states has surged since 2020 peace deals, data shows

Excluding tourism and services, commerce with several nations more than tripled during first 7 months of 2021 compared to same period the year before

The new UAE embassy in Tel Aviv, on July 14, 2021. (Miriam Alster/Flash90)
The new UAE embassy in Tel Aviv, on July 14, 2021. (Miriam Alster/Flash90)

Trade between Israel and countries in the Middle East and North Africa has grown significantly this year, following the Jewish state’s normalization of ties with additional Arab states, new data revealed.

In the first seven months of 2021, trade grew by 234 percent compared to the same period in 2020, according to Central Bureau of Statistics figures cited by Yonatan Gonen, a Foreign Ministry cadet.

The statistics showed trade with the United Arab Emirates surged from $50.8 million between January and July 2020 to $613.9 million in the same period in 2021.

The UAE was the first of four regional states who normalized ties with Israel last year, following Egypt in 1979 and Jordan in 1994 as the only Arab nations to establish diplomatic relations with Israel.

Trade with Jordan has also increased this year, from $136.2 million to $224.2 million, and trade with Egypt went from $92 million to $122.4 million. With Morocco, trade rose from $14.9 million to $20.8 million.

According to the data, trade with Bahrain was practically non-existent in the first seven months of 2020. During that same period this year, $300,000 in trade was registered.

The figures did not include trade in tourism and services.

The 2020 agreements with the UAE, Bahrain, Sudan, and Morocco, also known as the “Abraham Accords,” broke with the longstanding Arab notion that there should be no normalization with Israel until it reaches a comprehensive peace deal with the Palestinians. Palestinian leaders condemned the agreements as “a stab in the back” and “treason.”

Israel has already signed a raft of deals with both UAE and Bahrain, ranging from tourism to aviation and financial services.

“Just the beginning,” Avi Berkowitz, a former White House official who was part of the team that negotiated the accords, tweeted in reference to the new data.

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