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The New Arab Staff

UAE goes bananas for Israel with $10 billion a year fruit and veg normalisation deal

Israel and the UAE have normalised ties [Getty]

Date of publication: 30 October, 2020

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It is unclear whether Abu Dhabi will also import illegal settlement produce from the West Bank.
The United Arab Emirates and Israel have signed a new agreement allowing for Israeli fruit and vegetables to be sold in the Gulf state.

Israeli newspaper Calcalist reported on Thursday evening that a new "historic agreement" was signed between the two countries, allowing the UAE to import Israeli produce.

According to the report, the UAE will import $10 billion worth of Israeli agricultural products annually. Israel allegedly flaunted an advantage over other exporters to Dubai, due to its geographical proximity, as it only takes 32 hours to transport produce by truck from the Aqaba crossing and 8-10 days by ship from the port of Eliat.

"The agreement will push us forward towards a future of cooperation in agriculture, not only in knowledge and technology but also with direct trade of agricultural products," said Israeli Agriculture Minister Alon Schuster.

It is unclear whether the UAE will import products from Israeli settlements, however recent reports confirm that wine produced in the illegally Israeli-occupied Golan Heights is set to go to market in Dubai.

Read also: Beyond the glitz and glam of the UAE lies a sinister cyber surveillance state

The international community, including the UAE, does not recognise Israel's 1981 annexation of the Golan Heights, just as the international community refuses to recognise Israel’s 1967 occupation of the West Bank.

While the UAE and other Arab states have rushed to embrace Israel, opinion among Arab populations remains strongly against normalisation.

A poll published Arab Center for Research and Policy Studies (ACRPS) in early October showed that an overwhelming majority of 88 percent of Arabs reject normalisation with Israel.

Israel has supplied spyware technology to the UAE, a country known for its widespread detention and torture of opposition activists. 

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