“The United Arab Emirates is heading straight for a confrontation with Israel over a burning Palestinian village,” Saudi daily newspaper headline ArabNews this Friday, March 17, after Emirati leader Mohammed bin Zayed (MBZ) pledged $3 million in aid, roughly €2.8 million, for the reconstruction of Huwara. This West Bank village was sacked on Sunday, February 26, by Israeli settlers in retaliation for an attack that killed two Israelis earlier that day.

“A Palestinian died and dozens of houses and cars were burned when gangs of radical settlers ransacked Huwara.” recalls the newspaper, adding that after the attack “Israeli Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich, who is also in charge of the civil administration of the West Bank and is the territory’s de facto governor, said that Huwara must be destroyed.”

Clouds over the Israeli-Emirati rapprochement

The United Arab Emirates presents this assistance as “a sincere expression of consistent and firm support for the Palestinian people”, despite the signing of the Abraham Accords in August 2020 to normalize relations with Israel.

Abu Dhabi has been firmly committed to this relationship, in particular the signing of a free trade agreement last year, high-level visits, reflections on a common defense system against Iran, as well as various projects to facilitate the presence of the Jewish community on Emirati soil.

But relations between the two countries began to escalate after the formation last December of the most right-wing extremist government in Israel’s history. the Saudi newspaper writes again.