Top Dubai police official: Abbas not arbiter of who can have ties with Israel
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Top Dubai police official: Abbas not arbiter of who can have ties with Israel

Dhahi Khalfan Tamim, who has vacillated between support for Jewish state and anti-Semitic rants, says nations are not ‘at the command’ of Palestinian leader

Raphael Ahren is the diplomatic correspondent at The Times of Israel.

The deputy chairman of the Dubai Police and General Security, Lt. General Dhahi Khalfan Tamim (Via Twitter)
The deputy chairman of the Dubai Police and General Security, Lt. General Dhahi Khalfan Tamim (Via Twitter)

A senior Dubai police official on Monday slammed Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas for “creating problems” and urged Arab nations to ignore Ramallah’s criticism of the United Arab Emirates’ normalization process with Israel.

“Rid yourselves of this notion that you don’t build relations with Israel except at the command of Mahmoud Abbas,” Dhahi Khalfan Tamim, Dubai’s deputy head of police and general security, wrote on Twitter.

“Abbas’s croaking and the Palestinian insistence on creating problems in the region…is the height of naivete. Right here I’m telling him, ‘No one’s going to respond to you,'” he wrote in a second tweet.

Under Abbas’s leadership, the PA has harshly condemned the Emirati-Israeli rapprochement, which is set to culminate in a treaty between the two nations to be signed in Washington in the near future.

Khalfan Tamim, who is known for speaking his mind even on controversial issues, has previously publicly supported his country’s normalization of relations with Israel.

Last month, he told Israel’s Channel 12 in an interview that the August 13 agreement between Jerusalem and Abu Dhabi “is very important.”

Tamim, who in the past alleged that the Mossad killed a senior Hamas operative in a Dubai hotel and has also gone on anti-Semitic rants on Twitter, said further: “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 August 13 to establish full diplomatic relations, the third such deal the Jewish state has struck with an Arab state after Egypt and Jordan.

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.

Pictures released by Dubai in 2010 of alleged Mossad suspects in the killing of Mahmoud al-Mabhouh (photo credit: Youtube screenshot)
Pictures released by Dubai in 2010 of alleged Mossad suspects in the killing of Mahmoud al-Mabhouh (photo credit: Youtube screenshot)

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.

Tamim has 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, as well as castigating 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 asserted 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.”

Times of Israel staff and Aaron Boxerman contributed to this report.

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