Since the UAE announced full diplomatic relations with Israel in mid-August 2020, the relationship has become at an almost strategic level between the two countries under the “Abraham Agreement” which provides establishing relations at various political, economic, medical, and societal levels, as well as the normalization of relations between the citizens of the two countries.
This agreement, based on historical and political peculiarity, especially as Israel occupies the Palestinian lands since 1948-1967 AD, is harmful to the rights of others and contribute to seizing the Palestinian lands, especially the 1967 lands represented in the West Bank, the Jordan Valley and the vicinity of the Gaza Strip.
Why is it wrong?
A large part of the agreements signed between the two sides was replaced by companies located within settlements established in the occupied territories in 1967 AD, and this violates international and humanitarian law by exploiting the occupied lands and exploiting its resources.
The UAE’s implementation of these agreements is an explicit violation of international law and a flagrant violation of the rights of others. It is also a contribution to the ongoing occupation and its incursion in the occupied Palestinian West Bank.
Moreover, the UAE has signed economic normalization agreements with Israeli banks that finance settlement construction and support settlers’ illegal appropriation of Palestinian lands.
These banks directly finance the appropriation of Palestinian homes in East Jerusalem and West Bank and acquire real estate in development projects.
The displacement of the civilian population by the occupier to the occupied territories, and the deportation or displacement of the residents of the area, constitute a war crime, thus these banks contribute to this war crime.
Israeli banks provide facilities for Israeli settlement activities in the occupied Palestinian territories, including granting financial loans and mortgage loans to individuals and groups who wish to own homes in the settlements.
The London-based Impact International Foundation for Human Rights Policies indicated that cooperation agreements between Israeli and Emirati institutions and banks constitute a violation of the United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights.
The foundation highlighted the publication by the United Nations on February 12, 2020, of a blacklist of 112 companies operating in Israeli settlements in the West Bank, East Jerusalem, and the occupied Golan Heights. The list includes Hapoalim BM and Leumi Israel BM.
In a controversial statement, the President of the Dubai Chamber of Commerce, Hamad Buamim, said that the UAE will deal with the goods produced in the Israeli occupation settlements in the occupied West Bank as “imports from Israel”, adding that “the UAE does not distinguish between products manufactured in different regions, including “Judea and Samaria”, using the Israeli term for the occupied Palestinian West Bank. These statements make the UAE a full partner with the Israeli occupation of the Palestinian territories.
Legality of These Steps
These steps of the Emirati investment in the settlements built on the occupied Palestinian lands have not been taken by any other country.
The European Union criminalizes dealing with companies established in the occupied Palestinian lands, and there are specific conditions for the entry of settlement products to the US markets, while most Latin American countries refuse to deal with settlement products.
Finally; It is the responsibility of the international community to criminalize the agreements signed between the UAE and companies established in settlements on the Palestinian territories, and to work to boycott these Emirati companies, and to file cases against them before the international judiciary.
The international community must also stand firmly against any similar attempts by other countries.
In our human rights organization, we call on stopping such practices, which affects Palestinian human rights, and we call on the UAE to reverse its position and abide by international legitimacy in dealing with the occupied territories of another country.