Wednesday, September 22, 2021

Some interesting Israel-UAE agreements

 Ahead of the first anniversary of the Abraham Accords, here are some of many interesting deals reached to date

1.    1.Israeli search-and-rescue group signs MoU with Emirati counterpart

In a first agreement of its kind, Israel’s ZAKA Search and Rescue organization and organizers of the Dubai International Humanitarian Aid & Development Conference & Exhibition (DIHAD) signed an MoU that supports future collaborations in response to international crises and disasters..

2.    2,  Joint Israel-UAE water research institute is on the way

Earlier this summer, representatives from Israeli air-to-water company Watergen, Tel Aviv University and the Emirati Baynunah company met to sign on the establishment of a joint water research institute in the UAE

3.    3.  Israelis and Emiratis to develop Covid stem-cell therapy together

Immediately after the Abraham Accords were announced, the Haifa-based regenerative medicine company Pluristem Therapeutics signed a non-binding MoU with the Abu Dhabi Stem Cells Center to advance cell therapies for diseases including Covid-19.

4.    4.  Dubai chooses blue-and-white drones to secure expo

In what can only be described as a fantastic Middle Eastern twist, Dubai reportedly chose none other than an Israeli drone company to provide security for the World Expo it is to host this fall. Airobotics’ drone-in-a-box solution reportedly will aid local police in securing the international event and shorten emergency response time, as well as reduce the need for traditional security personnel.

5.     5. Emiratis get a share of Israeli natural gas

Israel’s offshore Tamar natural gas field got new owners this year when local drilling giant Delek sold its shares in the site – amounting to 22 percent – to Abu Dhabi’s Mubadala Petroleum for $1.1 billion in the biggest commercial deal to take place between the two countries to date.

6.     6. Bahraini, Israeli think tanks collaborate on regional security

The Abba Eban Institute for International Diplomacy at the IDC Herzliya and the Derasat Institute – The Bahrain Center for Strategic, International and Energy Studies signed an MoU this summer to collaborate on the fields of regional security and multilateral relations in the Middle East.

7.    7.  Abu Dhabi’s Dept of Health links up with Sheba Medical Center

This summer, top brass from world-famous Israeli hospital Sheba Medical Center flew to Abu Dhabi, where they signed an MoU allowing for the formation of a cooperation framework focused on research and development in telemedicine and the use of artificial intelligence in medicine, as well as the exchange of knowledge and best medical practices.

8.     8. Jerusalem’s Hadassah Medical Center– soon in Dubai?

Last fall, reports surfaced saying that Hadassah-Hebrew University Medical Center’sformer director general, Prof. Zeev Rotstein, was in talks with Emirati medical organizations regarding the possible establishment of a branch of the prestigious hospital in Dubai.

Monday, September 13, 2021

‘Economy for Security’ Plan to Stop Hamas Terror in Gaza

Foreign Minister Yair Lapid laid out his detailed plan to defeat Hamas in the Gaza Strip through economic and diplomatic means in an address to the International Institute for Counter-Terrorism Conference at Reichman University on Sunday.

“We need to start a large, multiyear process of economy for security,” he said.

Lapid rejected the dichotomy that Israel can either reconquer Gaza or continue to engage in periodic rounds of war against Hamas and other terrorist groups in the coastal enclave that Israel evacuated in 2005.

“Those are two bad options,” he said. “That’s not a reality we can accept.”

Instead, Israel should advance the “economy for security” formulation without negotiating with Hamas, he added. “Israel doesn’t speak to terrorist organizations who want to destroy us,” which puts pressure on the group that controls Gaza.

“We need to tell Gazans at every opportunity: Hamas is leading you to ruin,” Lapid said. “No one will come and invest real money, and no one will try to build an economy in a place from where Hamas fires and that Israel strikes on a regular basis.”

An Israeli plan to improve life in Gaza if Hamas lays down its arms is a way to put pressure on Hamas and end the “absurd situation” in which an antisemitic terrorist organization attacks Israeli civilians and Israel is blamed for it, he said.

That process will take years and will be backed up by the IDF’s might, Lapid said.

 “Our position of strength allows us to initiate instead of sitting and waiting for the next round,” he said.

The foreign minister also vowed that Israel bringing back the soldiers and civilians held in Hamas captivity is part of his plan, which has two stages.

First would come the humanitarian rebuilding of Gaza in exchange for an effort, coordinated with the international community, to stop Hamas’s military build-up.

“The electricity system will be repaired, gas will be connected, a water desalination plant will be built, significant improvements to the healthcare system and a rebuilding of housing and transportation infrastructure will take place,” Lapid said. “In exchange, Hamas will commit to long-term quiet.”

The international community would have to use its influence to ensure that quiet and stop Hamas from arming itself, including preventing smuggling and an oversight mechanism to stop humanitarian funds from getting to the terrorist group that threatens Israeli civilians.

Without that oversight, Israel will not allow funds to be invested in Gaza.

During this stage, Israel would maintain control of electricity and water in Gaza. Only long-term positive results would yield energy independence.

The Palestinian Authority would go back to being responsible for crossings into Gaza, except for Rafah, which is controlled by Egypt. Egyptian support is critical for the process, Lapid said.

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