Saudi Arabia prefers to normalize ties with Israel under Biden – report Under the US-brokered Abraham Accords, Israel has already signed normalization deals with the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain.

Saudi Arabia appears to have delayed plans to normalize ties with Israel until after US President-elect Joe Biden enters office on January 20, the Wall Street Journal reported on Friday.

It speculated that Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman “pulled back from a deal, according to the Saudi advisers and US officials, largely because of the US election result.”

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Israel warns citizens they could be targeted by Iran, as outbound tourism renews

NSC advises caution following bombing at New Delhi embassy, names recent Gulf partners UAE and Bahrain among countries risky for Israelis

Passengers seen at the Ben Gurion International Airport near Tel Aviv on March 8, 2021. (Flash90)

The National Security Council issued a travel advisory Monday, warning that Iran may still try to attack Israelis overseas, amid increased international travel following Israel’s rapid vaccination drive.

In the advisory, the NSC said that Iranian officials had threatened to attack Israeli targets over the last few months, adding that Iran had already conducted a bombing attack near the Israeli embassy in India in January.

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Israeli Embassy to UAE celebrates first Passover seder

Ambassador Eitan Na’eh tweets a rather straightforward answer to the age-old Passover question: ‘What is different this night?’

The Israeli Embassy to the United Arab Emirates held its first Passover seder Saturday night, and Ambassador Eitan Na’eh proudly shared a moment from the festive evening online.

Na’eh tweeted a video of participants singing the song “Ma Nishtana,” traditionally sung by the youngest attendant of the seder, which asks “What is different this night from other nights?”

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Israel stayed away from UAE arms fair ‘for fear Iran would target its delegates’

While COVID was cited as official reason for cancelation in this week’s Abu Dhabi event, TV says decision was taken by security establishment

Buyers and sellers pictured on the opening day of the International Defence Exhibition Conference, IDEX, in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, Sunday, Feb. 21, 2021. (AP Photo/Kamran Jebreili)

Israel canceled its participation in this week’s Abu Dhabi arms fair because of fears that its delegates would be targeted for assassination by Iran, a television report said.

The Israeli delegation was to have included the heads of Israel’s major defense companies, seeking lucrative contracts and underlining the newly normalized relations between Israel and the United Arab Emirates.

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Suspected gang boss, 33, is extradited from the UAE on drugs and guns charges three years after he left Britain for Dubai

Leon Cullen was extradited to the UK from the UAE as he’s suspected of being the head of a crime group supplying firearms and drugs

Assistant Chief Constable Matt Burton, from Cheshire Constabulary, said: ‘We would like to take this opportunity to thank the UAE authorities, and all those involved, for their hard work and commitment to bring Cullen back to the UK.’

Deputy Director Tom Dowdall, head of NCA International, said: ‘Leon Cullen believed he could evade capture by fleeing to Dubai. ‘However, working with our partners in the UK and the United Arab Emirates, we were able to locate and apprehend him so he could be returned to the UK.

‘This type of global law enforcement cooperation has never been more important to tackling serious and organised crime affecting the UK and I would like to thank the UAE authorities for all their work which led to Cullen’s arrest and extradition.

‘Our network of international liaison officers operate across the world and we will continue to work with our policing partners to pursue wanted individuals and ensure nowhere is a safe haven.’

Cullen was arrested as a result of a joint operation carried out by Cheshire Police’s Serious and Organised Crime Unit, the National Crime Agency, the North West Regional Organised Crime Unit (NWROCU), Interpol and police authorities in the UAE, assisted by the CPS to secure his successful extradition to the UK. 

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UAE’s first ambassador to Israel sworn in by Emirati PM

Unclear when Muhammad Mahmoud Al Khajah will arrive in the Jewish state to take up his post

United Arab Emirates Prime Minister Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum on Sunday swore in his country’s first ambassador to the State of Israel, Mohammad Mahmoud Al Khajah.

It was not immediately clear when Mohamed Alkhaja will arrive in Israel to take up his post.

In late January, Israel officially opened its embassy to the UAE as Ambassador Eitan Na’eh arrived in Abu Dhabi. The same day the UAE approved the opening of its embassy in Tel Aviv.

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Iranian agents scouted Israeli, US, UAE embassies in East Africa for attack — TV

Attempted strike to avenge deaths of Iranian general, nuclear scientist was thwarted last month, Kan News claims, citing Western intelligence sources

Worshipers in Iran chant slogans during Friday prayers ceremony by a banner showing slain Iranian Revolutionary Guard general Qassem Soleimani, left, and Iraqi Shiite senior militia commander Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, who were killed in Iraq in a US drone attack on January 3, and a banner which reads in Persian: ‘Death To America,’ at Imam Khomeini Grand Mosque in Tehran, Iran, January 17, 2020. (Office of the Iranian Supreme Leader via AP)

Several Iranian agents who scouted out the Israeli, American, and Emirati embassies in an unnamed East African country in preparation for a potential attack have been arrested, according to a Monday Israeli TV report.

The agents were sent by Iran to gather intelligence on the sites for a terror attack, Kan News reported, citing Western intelligence sources.

Some held dual European and Iranian citizenship, and some were arrested in the East African country, while others were apprehended in different countries. The attack was thwarted last month, according to the report.

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UAE ambassador: ‘Abraham Accords were about preventing annexation’

Envoy also confirms Netanyahu trip to Abu Dhabi next week, says bad blood between Emiratis and Palestinians can be overcome with show of good faith from Ramallah

UAE Ambassador to the US Yousef al-Otaiba speaks on a Zoom panel organized by the Washington Institute for Near East Policy on February 1, 2021. (Screen capture/YouTube)

The United Arab Emirates ambassador to the US said Monday that the normalization agreement his country signed with Israel in September was primarily “about preventing annexation.”

Yousef al-Otaiba said that while many had sought to cast the agreement in different lights to suit their own narrative, for him it was mostly about stopping Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s controversial plan to extend Israeli sovereignty to large parts of the West Bank.

“When the Abraham Accords were announced, everybody… looked at [it] through their own lens,” said al-Otaiba, explaining that both the Palestinians and the Iranians thought the normalization deal was meant as a message to their respective governments.

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UAE to offer citizenship to select expats in rare move for Gulf

Dubai skyline including the world’s tallest skyscraper Burj Khalifa GIUSEPPE CACACE AFP

Dubai (AFP)

The UAE announced Saturday it is opening a path to citizenship for select foreigners, in a rare move for the Gulf where the status and its welfare benefits are jealously guarded.

Dubai ruler and United Arab Emirates (UAE) Prime Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashed Al-Maktoum said “investors, specialised talents and professionals including scientists, doctors, engineers, artists, authors and their families” would be eligible for naturalisation under the new amendment.

“The UAE cabinet, local emiri courts and executive councils will nominate those eligible for the citizenship under clear criteria set for each category,” Sheikh Mohammed said.

“The law allows receivers of the UAE passport to keep their existing citizenship.”

Dubai says trade with Israel has topped $270 million since normalization

‘Expansion of trade and investment will benefit not only business communities in the UAE and Israel, but also in the [wider] Middle East,’ official says

The skyline of Dubai, United Arab Emirates, at sunset. (Britus/ iStock by Getty Images)

Since Israel and the United Arab Emirates normalized ties in September, trade between the Jewish state and Dubai has reached 1 billion dirham ($272 million), the Dubai media office said Saturday.

No figure was provided for all trade between the two countries beyond Dubai.

The office said some two-thirds of the sum was exports, while a third was imports.

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