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Israel disappointed by Emirati response to Jerusalem unrest, but doesn’t think it’ll impact ties

Jacob Magid is The Times of Israel's US correspondent based in New York

Prime Minister Naftali Bennett (left) meets with UAE Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan in the latter's Abu Dhabi palace on December 13, 2021. (Haim Zach/GPO)
Prime Minister Naftali Bennett (left) meets with UAE Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan in the latter's Abu Dhabi palace on December 13, 2021. (Haim Zach/GPO)

A senior Israeli diplomatic official says Jerusalem was disappointed by the UAE’s response to the recent unrest in Jerusalem but doesn’t believe there has been any real damage to the relationship.

The UAE summoned Israel’s ambassador to Abu Dhabi on Tuesday and issued a statement afterward blasting the conduct of Israeli police who have entered the Temple Mount in recent days in order to quash Palestinian rioters. The UAE also spoke out aggressively against Israel at Tuesday’s UN Security Council closed-door meeting on the issue, according to two diplomats familiar with the matter.

Speaking during a briefing with Israeli reporters, the senior diplomatic official sought to downplay the issue, noting that the content of the discussion between UAE Minister of State for International Cooperation Reem bint Ibrahim Al Hashemy and Israeli Ambassador Amir Hayek and what was printed in the subsequent Emirati readout were not at all the same.

Regardless, Israel passed along its dissatisfaction with the Emirati response. “I don’t see what happened as damaging our relations,” the diplomatic official says.

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