Israeli Settler Delegation in Dubai for Business Cooperation Talks

A delegation of Israeli settlers was in Dubai last week, where they met with Emirati business people to discuss commercial opportunities following the United Arab Emirates’ establishment of formal ties with Israel earlier this year. The visit angered the Palestinians, because the Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank are a major obstacle to peace and a violation of international law.

Settler leader Yossi Dagan (second from right) with a group of Emirati businessmen in Dubai on November 10, 2020

Settler leader Yossi Dagan (second from right) with a group of Emirati businessmen in Dubai on November 10, 2020 (Photo: Samaria Regional Council)

Yossi Dagan, the head of the Samaria Regional Council, which represents settlements in the northern West Bank, led the delegation. “Coming soon – direct export from Samaria to the UAE!” an excited Dagan wrote on his Facebook page on Wednesday, November 11. A statement from the regional council released Tuesday, November 10, said the delegation held “marathon business meetings” with around 20 individuals and companies working in agriculture, pest control and plastics.

“The UAE is an advanced country at the forefront of development and investment, and it is our honor to forge trade and industrial ties with them,” Dagan said. Dagan seized the moment to call on far-right Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to annex the Palestinian occupied territories. Netanyahu agreed to suspend annexation plans as a precondition to signing the normalization deal with the UAE and Bahrain.

Among the manufacturers who joined the delegation were: Boaz Shitzer, CEO of AST from the Shahak industrial zone in Samaria, which provides technological solutions for desalination and water recycling around the world; Moshe Lev Ran, vice president of Twito Plast from the Barkan Industrial Area in Samaria, specializes in the production of accessories for air conditioning and energy saving technologies; Yair Wolovich, who represents 30 agronomy and crop development companies in Israel, mainly in Samaria, as well as representatives from the Central Samaria Development Company, and the council’s CEO, Amitai Roitman, who has been establishing the Samaria Municipal Economic Company in recent months.

Nabil Shaath, an aide to Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, said it was “painful to witness Arab cooperation with one of the worst manifestations of aggression against the Palestinian people, which is the Israeli settlements on our land.” The UAE has defended its decision to establish diplomatic ties with Israel, saying it “advances regional peace efforts.” Bahrain and Sudan have also agreed to establish ties with Israel. All three agreements were brokered by the US Trump administration.

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