Israel decided not to send a delegation of defense companies to a prestigious arms fair in the United Arab Emirates last week for fear of an Iranian attack in Abu Dhabi against Israelis, Channel 12 reports.
The Defense Ministry has said that the decision was due to coronavirus restrictions that have forced the closure of Israel’s international airport.
According to Channel 12, however, Israeli security officials feared the event could be a target for attack in response to the supposed Israeli killing of nuclear scientist Mohsen Fakhrizadeh and the Emiratis were told that this was why Israel was pulling out.
Dozens of Israeli companies, including state-owned Israel Aerospace Industries and Rafael Advanced Defense Systems, had planned on sending delegations to the IDEX arms fair. It was to mark the first time Israel has participated in the gathering, a result of last year’s US-brokered agreement establishing ties between Israel and the United Arab Emirates.
The Defense Ministry, which oversees weapons exports, said it sought permission to allow the delegation to travel, but a governmental committee that grants exemptions allowing people to fly denied the request.