Israel denies report UAE plans suspend some defense deals due to government actions

President Isaac Herzog (left) meets with UAE President Mohammed Bin Zayed in Abu Dhabi on December 5, 2022. (Amos Ben Gershom/GPO)
President Isaac Herzog (left) meets with UAE President Mohammed Bin Zayed in Abu Dhabi on December 5, 2022. (Amos Ben Gershom/GPO)

Israeli officials are denying a Channel 12 report that the United Arab Emirates intends to suspend certain defense purchases from Jerusalem due to some of the current government’s actions and statements.

According to the unsourced report, the UAE has pointed particularly to incendiary comments and behavior from far-right ministers Itamar Ben Gvir and Bezalel Smotrich, as well as recent West Bank violence and the violent settler rampage in Huwara.

The TV network cites UAE President Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan as saying that “until we can ascertain that Prime Minister Netanyahu has a government that he can control, we can’t work together.”

The Prime Minister’s Office issues a strong denial, calling the report “baseless” and saying that Israel and the UAE are constantly holding “fruitful diplomatic contact… including today.”

The Foreign Ministry issues a similar statement, calling relations “strong.”

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