Barely a few hours passed since the UAE and Israel announced an agreement that was sponsored by the United States to normalize relations between them and exchange ambassadors, until the first trade agreement between the two sides was signed in Abu Dhabi, prompting observers to say that the normalization agreement came to culminate in a process of hidden rapprochement between the two parties. Over the past recent years.

The Emirati "Apex National Investment" company (Apex) has signed an agreement with the Israeli "Tera" group to cooperate in the field of research to combat the emerging corona virus "Covid-19", including the production of a test device.

In another indication of the acceleration of the pace, it was announced that direct telephone communication service between the UAE and Israel had started, as Associated Press reporters in Jerusalem and Dubai were able to make direct calls between them from landlines and cell phones.

This step was followed by the UAE lifting the blocking of Israeli websites previously blocked by the Emirati authorities, including the "The Times of Israel" and "The Jerusalem Post", and "Ynet". ).

This comes while Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced that his government is working to allow direct flights from Tel Aviv to Dubai and Abu Dhabi through Saudi airspace.

According to Netanyahu, this would change the face of the Israeli economy, expecting "a huge volume of investments and tourism on both sides," noting that "the Emiratis are very interested in making huge investments in Israel."

Netanyahu: We are working to allow direct flights between Tel Aviv, Dubai and Abu Dhabi through Saudi airspace (Al-Jazeera)

Economic justification

The agreement to normalize relations between Israel and the UAE includes several points, but the most important of its economic clauses are the direct investment of the UAE in Israel, and the signing of bilateral agreements related to the sectors of tourism, security, communications and technology, in addition to investment in the sectors of energy, water, health care, culture and the environment.

The head of the Al-Madar Center for Political Studies in Kuwait, Dr. Saleh Al-Mutairi, describes the signing of the Coronavirus agreement between the Emirati and Israeli companies the day after the announcement of the normalization of relations between the two sides, as well as the rapid scientific, cultural and air coordination that reflects old relations between the two parties that are not born of the moment.

Al-Mutairi confirms - in his speech to Al-Jazeera Net - that Israel will be the largest economic beneficiary from this normalization and the injection of Emirati funds, as it is at the bottom of the lists of the Israeli European Economic Organization classification.

Al-Mutairi says that 64% of the Israeli economy depends on services, such as real estate management, hotels and tourism, public relations companies, advisory and security services, but Al-Mutairi reiterated that the most important feature of Israel is the manufacture of high-precision technology and weapons.

He believes that the economic justification is always the umbrella that is used by many Arab countries for normalization with Israel, in comparison with many European countries that have long refused to receive fruits, vegetables and agricultural products that come from the settlements, despite the proximity of those countries to Israel.

Al-Mutairi stresses that the economic return will not be of great benefit to the UAE, due to several considerations, the most important of which is that Israel is a country known to be of high risk, and that it is politically unstable, as evidenced by the ongoing partisan struggle that prevents the formation of governments.

He added, "In addition to the fact that Israel, which has long boasted of its democracy and transparency, has accused most of its successive presidents of major financial, administrative and criminal corruption scandals, which calls into question the incentives for investment in it ?!"

Following the agreement, it was announced that a direct telephone service would operate between the UAE and Israel (French).

Political reasons

Another question raised by the financial and economic analyst Maitham Al-Shakh, about the UAE's goals as a rich country in Israel with a non-strong economy, and which depends on American support.

From the person’s point of view - in his speech to Al Jazeera Net - the benefit will be political, not economic, as the trade exchange will not be great, adding that what came in the economic clauses of the agreement are only to beautify it.

He believes that Israel will enter the Arab world and the Gulf countries from the widest doors through the "Expo 2020" world exhibition, which will be held next October in Dubai.

And he expected that normalization would not proceed as smoothly as its marketers wanted, as it would clash with popular rejection that would be evident in the details. For example, people would not accept to buy Israeli products, whether agricultural or industrial, even if their entry came based on a green light from the political leadership. PDFs for such products may take years.

commercial exchange

For his part, financial and economic analyst Muhammad Ramadan considered that Israel occupies an advanced position in technology, information security and solar energy, in addition to the manufacture of weapons and military equipment, so these areas will occupy the largest part of the trade exchange between the two countries.

Ramadan believes that there are economic advantages that can be achieved between the two parties, including tourism, especially in light of Dubai's aspiration to establish its position as a global tourist destination.

Ramadan pointed out - in an interview with Al-Jazeera Net - that the trade balance of all countries in the region related to relations with Israel, such as Egypt, Jordan and Turkey, was tilted in its favor more than Israel.

According to 2018 World Bank data, Israel imported nearly $ 545 million from Egypt, while Egypt imported nearly $ 112 million from Israel. As for Jordan, it exported about $ 79.6 million to Israel, while it imported from Israel about $ 71.5 million.

Turkey was also the biggest beneficiary of trade exchange with Israel, as it exported nearly $ 6.2 billion, while importing from it about $ 1.9 billion.