The United Arab Emirates (UAE) authorities intend to suspend the purchase of defense systems from Israel until they are convinced that Prime Minister of the Jewish state Benjamin Netanyahu is in full control of his government. As Channel 12 reported Sunday, UAE President Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan addressed such a statement to the Israeli side.
"Until we are convinced that Prime Minister Netanyahu has a government that he can control, we cannot implement joint actions," the UAE president was quoted as saying to Israeli officials, according to the channel.
According to the channel, this refers to the decision of the UAE to suspend the purchase of Israeli defensive systems. According to its Israeli sources, this decision was prompted in particular by the recent controversial speeches of two key members of Netanyahu's government - Itamar Ben-Gvir, leader of the Jewish Power party, who serves as National Security Minister, and Finance Minister Betsalel Smotrich, who heads the Religious Zionism bloc.
Ben-Gvir had earlier provoked the outrage of the entire Muslim world when he defiantly climbed the Temple Mount in Jerusalem despite Muslim protests. Smotrich found himself at the center of the scandal when he called for the destruction of the Palestinian village of Huwara in the West Bank after riots involving Jewish settlers occurred there.
The UAE's decision to suspend defense purchases from Israel became known after an agreement was reached between Iran and Saudi Arabia to restore diplomatic relations, the channel reported. Moreover, as it notes, the statement was made against the background of the constant postponement of Netanyahu's visit to Abu Dhabi. The Israeli prime minister originally expected to make his first foreign visit to the UAE after returning to the post of prime minister at the end of December 2022. However, in early January, in light of the Ben-Gvir climbing scandal on the Temple Mount, the trip was postponed to a later date and has yet to take place.
Meanwhile, Netanyahu's office denied reports of a possible suspension of defense purchases by the UAE. "The news has no basis in fact. Israel and the UAE maintain, including today, fruitful state contacts in all spheres," the prime minister's office said in a circulated comment.
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Based on materials from TASS