UAE president congratulates Netanyahu on new government 'victory'

UAE president congratulates Netanyahu on new government 'victory'
The president and foreign minister of the UAE have called officials in Israel to congratulate them on forming a new extreme-right government which is expected to increase persecution of Palestinians.
2 min read
01 January, 2023
Mohammed Bin Zayed congratuled Netanyahu on his "victory" [Getty]

UAE President Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan has congratulated Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on the formation of his new government, which is believed to be the most extreme-right administration Israel has ever had.

Bin Zayed called Netanyahu congratulating him on his "victory" and expressing his "aspiration to strengthen Emirati-Israeli relations during the coming period, especially in the development fields, and to advance the path of partnership and peace between the two countries for the benefit of their peoples and the region in general," according to the UAE’s official news agency, WAM.

Bin Zayed also reiterated an invitation to Netanyahu to visit the United Arab Emirates, according to the Israeli premier’s office, adding "the two agreed that the visit would take place soon."

Israeli President Isaac Herzog visited the UAE in early December.

Since normalising relations in 2020, both countries have established ties in multiple fields including tourism, energy, surveillance and military technology.

The controversial normalisation deal, which was followed by similar Israeli deals with Bahrain and Morocco, has been slammed by Palestinians as a betrayal of their cause.

UAE Foreign Minister Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan also called his Israeli counterpart, Eli Cohen, congratulating him on his new position, reported WAM.

During a phone call, Abdullah bin Zayed expressed his "wishes of success to His Excellency in his new duties."

The Emirati diplomat "expressed his aspiration to work with His Excellency [Cohen] in order to strengthen bilateral relations between the UAE and the State of Israel, which have accomplished many achievements for the two countries over the past two years," according to WAM.

Netanyahu took office on Thursday as the head of an extreme -right government that includes parties who advocate for occupied West Bank lands to be annexed, as well as for increased illegal settlements in the area.

Palestinians are likely to suffer more violence and persecution as a result. Ministers in Netanyahu's government have previously made incendiary and racist statements against Palestinians.

The United Nations says 2022 has been the deadliest year for Palestinians for more than a decade, as scores have been killed and arrested during Israeli raids and attacks in the West Bank, which Israel has occupied since 1967.