Israeli companies (secretly) selling weapons to the UAE – Report

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October 9th, 2017 – Fort Russ News –

– Agencies – – by Samer Hussein –


The Israeli newspaper Maariv has published a report, claiming that Israeli businessman Metai Kokhafi recently hired a private plane and flew to the UAE capital city of Abu Dhabi to discuss the terms of weapon sales to the ruling regime.

Kokhavi’s delegation to UAE included several important Israeli military officials, among them Eitan Ben Eliyahu, the former commander of the Israeli Air Force.

The report which was citing Yossi Melman, the former intelligence and strategic affairs correspondent for the Haaretz newspaper, said Kokhavi actually “embarrassed Israel” after he boasted during a meeting in Singapore that he and his colleague were preparing to strike a major weapons deal with the UAE.

According to Maariv, Melman express his criticism of the Israeli authorities due to “remaining silent” on arms dealings and cooperation with the Arab states, saying it would be beneficial for Israel if the evolving relationship was more overt.

Just last month, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said the “breakthrough” in ties with the Arab states has been made, claiming many levels of cooperation are now possible due to relations with the Arab states being “better than ever”, though they cannot be revealed to public just yet. 

Only a few days later, the Bahraini King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifah openly called for an end to the Arab boycott of Israel.

The unnamed Israeli officials later told the Middle East Eye, an internet news portal, that Israel was on the path of normalizing diplomatic ties with Bahrain, adding that an official public announcement may follow in the nearby future.

Back in June, it was reported that Saudi Arabia and Israel plan to set up economic relations for the very first time.

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According to Maariv, Melman said the main reason for not revealing these things to public was to “ensure no lives of officials are put in danger”, while indicating that normalizing relations with the Arab states should be made public.

He then compared Israel’s open relations with Egypt to the secretive talks with the Gulf regimes. 

The journalist urged the Israeli media to be more open about the country’s relatively close ties to the regime of Abdel Fattah Al Sisi in Egypt, pointing out how the Israeli Military Censor has refused to cover intelligence cooperation between Cairo and Tel Aviv.

Although Abu Dhabi and Tel Aviv maintain no diplomatic ties due to the fact that the former does not recognize Israel as a sovereign state, the two sides nonetheless increased their backchannel cooperation on multiple levels in the past few years.

In November 2015, the Israeli Foreign Ministry made an official announcement, saying that Tel Aviv would soon open its permanent mission in Abu Dhabi, mainly with the purpose of being able to fully cooperate as part of the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) which is based in the UAE capital city.

Back in June 2017, hackers released dozens of emails, proving how Yousef Al Otaiba, the UAE ambassador to the US, has been collaborating with the Foundation for Defense of Democracies (FDD), a pro-Israel think tank.

The correspondence between Otaiba and the FDD covered a range of topics, Iran including.

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