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UAE cabinet approves opening Israel embassy in Tel Aviv

The UAE will open an embassy in Tel Aviv [Getty]

Date of publication: 25 January, 2021

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Abu Dhabi has approved plans for an embassy in Tel Aviv after Israel opened one in the UAE.
The UAE cabinet has approved plans for an embassy in Tel Aviv, on the same say that Israel announced it had opened a diplomatic mission in Abu Dhabi, state media has reported.

No further details were given about the decision to open the embassy in Israel, which came during a meeting of ministers on Sunday chaired by UAE Prime Minister and Dubai ruler Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al-Makhtoum.

Israel considers Jerusalem as its "undivided" capital, while most of the world have their diplomatic missions in Tel Aviv.

Israel on Sunday announced it had opened an embassy in the UAE which will be headed by Eitan Naeh, the former ambassador to Turkey.

The embassy in Abu Dhabi will be temporary until a permanent premise is found for Israel, which also plans to open a consulate in Dubai, according to Emirati media.

Read also: Biden to keep Jerusalem embassy but seek Palestinian state, nominee says

The UAE and Israel signed a controversial normalisation deal in Washington in September, after announcing plans to do so in August.

Bahrain, Morocco and Sudan have also signed or agreed normalisation deals with Israel.

Palestinians say these go against Arab consensus on only establishing ties with Israel once it recognises a Palestinian state.

Israel has illegally occupied the West Bank since 1967 and lays siege to Gaza, which remains on the brink of a humanitarian crisis due to dire shortages of essential supplies.

Israel has also recently approved the construction of thousands of settler homes in the West Bank, deemed illegal under international law.

The US moved its embassy from Tel Aviv, the internationally-recognised capital of Israel, to Jerusalem in 2018, in a further blow for Palestinian aspirations for an independent state.


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