For many years, secret relations have been built between Israeli companies - specialized in the manufacture of weapons and technology, communication networks and "cyber" control systems - and the UAE, which paved the way for intelligence, military and security cooperation between the two countries, and culminated in August 2020 with the Israeli-Emirati normalization under American auspices.
Under pain of secrecy for two decades, Israeli defense companies and security industries under the supervision of the Ministry of Defense sold advanced weapons systems to the UAE, with total deals worth hundreds of millions of dollars annually.
Perhaps the most prominent Israeli companies that worked secretly with Abu Dhabi are "Rafael" advanced defense systems Ltd., the Israeli Air and Military Industries, and the "Elbit" company, which works to develop and manufacture electronic systems for advanced weapons.
The normalization and the opening of direct communication between Tel Aviv and Abu Dhabi will allow for a real expansion in security and military business transactions, such as the field of unmanned aircraft, missile defense systems and other defense systems that have already been exported to countries around the world that regard Israel as "friendly."
Another area that will see a recovery is Israel's specialization in modernizing and improving existing weapons systems that have been active for years in the service of countries, most of which are American weapons, including tanks and F-16 fighters.
An Israeli security source estimates that this area will save the UAE and other Gulf countries huge expenditures for purchasing new weapons systems.
according to Israeli media, there is great activity in commercial relations between Israeli military and security companies and industries and the UAE, with the participation of the Ministry of Defense as a catalyst and as a monitoring body.
These relations usually remain secret, but a surprise announcement weeks ago of joint cooperation between Israel and the UAE to develop technologies to combat the Corona virus, shed some light on this close and secret cooperation between the two countries, which was estimated at about one billion dollars in recent years.
A study by the Israeli newspaper "Haaretz" revealed that the volume of secret trade between Israel and the Arab countries, especially the UAE, has doubled.
The newspaper pointed out that it is difficult to determine the size of this trade because Tel Aviv uses intermediary countries to export to Arab and Gulf countries, and stated that there are estimates indicating that it is (about 400 million dollars annually).
The deputy head of the development department at the Israeli company Rafael revealed in an interview with the Ynet news site in Hebrew that one of the company's innovations to combat the Corona virus had been sent to Abu Dhabi. pic.twitter.com/0wrw1Rz8ab
- Israel in Arabic (@IsraelArabic) July 26, 2020
The technology industry
For his part, Dr. Yossi Man, a researcher at the Interdisciplinary Center in Herzliya, believes that the most prominent sectors that will flourish in Israel as a result of normalization with the UAE are the tourism, electronics, technology and cyber industries, and it is estimated that millions of tourists from the Gulf countries will arrive in Israel.
The Israeli researcher estimates the volume of investments and deals between the UAE and Israeli technology, aviation and weapons companies between 300 and 500 million dollars annually, bearing in mind that the total trade exchange between Israel and Arab countries reaches 300 million annually, according to the data of the Israeli Export Institute.
Commenting on the volume of investments and military industry deals with the UAE, Mann said that the UAE is well aware that Israel will provide it with security and defense systems to counter Iranian threats.
He added, "The real story is the Arab influx into Jerusalem. Ask any Emirati or Saudi, what is your dream? My dream is to visit Al-Aqsa, and this influx will revive Jerusalem, its economy and its tourism, apart from the political dimension as the capital of the Jewish people."
Legitimacy for Israel
In turn, Dr. Moran Zaghi, a researcher at the Mitvim Institute specializing in foreign policies for the Middle East and Israel, explained that Israel's interest in normalizing relations with the UAE stems from its desire to enhance its legitimacy in the Middle East, while Abu Dhabi is looking to enhance its regional position and role, thus enhancing The possibility of more "moderate" Arab and Gulf states joining the alliance led by Israel and promoted by the UAE.
Apart from Israel's gaining legitimacy in the Middle East, there are common security challenges with the UAE, which are the Iranian nuclear armament and the threat of armed organizations, and these challenges will enhance military cooperation between the two countries and stimulate the activity of the Israeli Air and Military Industries Company, and will also open the door for Emirati investments in the field of high technology. The Israeli high-tech.
Perhaps the most prominent areas of cooperation between the UAE and Israel that come out from the secret to the open, according to Zaghi, “is security cooperation, whose features, size and axes do not have any official documentation, but it mainly centered around joint military exercises and air maneuvers as well, arms deals, military equipment, and defense systems. Drones and the exchange of security and military delegations between the two countries. "
The same argument was made by Yossi Kuperwasser, a researcher at the Jerusalem Center for Public and State Affairs, who previously held the head of the Military Intelligence Research Unit, "AMAN".
He explained that the essential and central issues in the normalization of relations are strengthening the Arab camp of moderate Sunni countries and the public accession of Israel to this camp from the gate of Abu Dhabi.
To bolster this Arab-Israeli camp, Kuperwasser says, "Some people are likely to expect soft Israeli assistance to the UAE, for example in matters of intelligence, advice and military technology, in order to improve its performance in the battlefields against Iran as well as against its extremist opponents."