The United Arab Emirates is considering reducing the level of its diplomatic representation in Israel, Israel Hayom reported on Tuesday, citing a report which appeared on the Saudi news website Elaph.
According to the report, the United Arab Emirates is mulling whether to instruct its ambassador in Israel not to meet any Israeli official, Knesset member or minister at the moment. This would be in addition to not taking part in official events in which Israeli ministers and politicians in the government will be present.
Sources in the United Arab Emirates told the Saudi website that the country was surprised by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's silence in the face of the actions and statements of politicians from the Religious Zionist Party, which they view as harming the stability of the region, inflaming hatred and serving only extremists. The report also said that Jordan, Egypt and Morocco are considering similar measures.
The report specifically cited the statements of Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich, who said during a speech in Paris this week that "there is no such thing as a Palestinian people", as well as his previous statement calling to “wipe out Huwara”, for which he ultimately apologized.
An Israeli official quoted in the report denied there is a desire on the part of the United Arab Emirates to reduce relations between the countries.
The UAE was one of four Arab nations to normalize relations with Israel in the so-called Abraham Accords which were brokered by the US in 2020.
Tuesday’s report comes weeks after Iran and Saudi Arabia reached an agreement on restoration of their diplomatic ties. Last week, a senior Iranian official visited the United Arab Emirates.