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UAE officials appear on Israeli channels for first time following normalisation

The interview aired just days after the normalisation announcement [Screenshot]

Date of publication: 16 August, 2020

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Dhahi Khalfan, known for his constant promotion of normalisation with Israel, was interviewed by Channel 12 on Saturday.
Dubai's former police chief Dhahi Khalfan appeared on an Israeli channel for the first time on Saturday just days after the United Arab Emirates announced formal ties with Israel.

Khalfan’s interview on Israel’s Channel 12 described the move as a “very important” step for the Middle East, despite being unanimously condemned by Palestinian factions.

"Choosing peace is the strategy that dominates the Middle East today, which is full of tensions, wars and hatred between countries,” Khalfan said, according to a report by Arabi21.

The controversial figure also made mention of Israel’s assassination of former Hamas leader Mahmoud Al-Mabhouh, who was killed in Dubai ten years ago, describing the event as a “strategic mistake” by Israel.

“At the time Israel thought it would not be exposed but they [the hit squad] were discovered in the Emirates,” he said.

Khalfan also assured he would have informed Israeli authorities of any planned attacks on Israel had he known at the time, including any explosions in public areas.

Read also: Dubai deputy police chief calls for 'dissolving Hamas' after normalisation with Israel

However, the former Emirati official ruled out any plans to meet the head of Israel’s Mossad agency, Yossi Cohen, saying he would have “no problem meeting Israeli citizens that are welcome in the UAE” instead.

Khalfan has in recent days attacked all Palestinian parties for slamming the UAE's normalisation with Israel, saying Gaza-based group Hamas needs to be dissolved.

In a series of tweets, Khalfan criticised Palestinian groups, calling for "dissolving" of enemies and claimed that the UAE's step to normalise will enhance Palestinian-Israeli dialogue

Khalfan lashed out at Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, and his chief negotiator, Saeb Erekat, saying that they have "outdated mentalities". 

Khalfan called for Hamas to be dissolved and the integration of all forces under the banner of Fatah, with the "youth" assuming the leadership, apparently in reference to UAE ally Mohamed Dahlan.

Dahlan is a former Palestinian strongman and head of security for the Palestinian Authority.

Khalfan, known for his constant promotion of normalisation with Israel, and his constant attack on Palestinians, especially Hamas, considered that "dialogue with the Jews in the presence of peace will be more beneficial and beneficial to the two-state solution".

Khalfan deplored Hamas, saying: "When the Palestinian cause turns into an Islamist party that carries all the tools of demolition for the Arab governments... the case is lost for the sake of a party... and this is what al-Mishaal al-Mutfi did," mockingly referring to the movement's former political bureau chief Khaled Meshal.

Hamas, which was a branch of the Muslim Brotherhood until 2017, is considered as a terrorist organisation by the anti-Islamist UAE.

Read more: The dissimulation surrounding the UAE-Israeli alliance hides a quid pro quo for Trump’s re-election campaign

The Middle East felt shockwaves, after Trump announced on Thursday that the UAE had normalised ties with Israel, only the third between the Jewish state and an Arab country, after Egypt and Jordan.

Palestinians of all political leanings – from the secular Fatah of Mahmoud Abbas to the Hamas Islamist – have been unanimous in their condemnation of the deal, viewing the UAE as sacrificing the Palestinian cause to gain commercial relations with Israel.

While the agreement supposedly delays Israel's plans to unilaterally annex large swathes of the West Bank and Jordan Valley, many Palestinians feel betrayed.

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