An investigation conducted by "Anadolu Agency" revealed that in recent weeks Emirati companies had contracted with Israeli companies that were classified by the United Nations within a "black list" of companies that support settlement in the occupied territories.
The "blacklist" includes 112 Israeli and international companies that the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights said, on February 12, that they are carrying out specific activities related to Israeli settlements in the occupied Palestinian territories.
On the 13th of last August, the UAE and Israel announced that they had reached an agreement to fully normalize relations between them.
Since then, announcements have been frequent, about reaching agreements and signing contracts between Emirati and Israeli companies.
However, the Anadolu Agency investigation revealed that some Israeli companies and institutions that were contracted with have been mentioned in the "black list" or that they support settlements.
Official Emirati media institutions publish news and announcements about contracts between Israeli and Emirati companies.
The name of the Israeli Bank "Leumi" was mentioned frequently in these contracts, despite being one of the names on the UN blacklist.
According to the Emirati media, it is clear that the aforementioned Israeli bank has concluded 3 agreements with 3 Emirati banks, namely, Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank, First Abu Dhabi Bank, and Emirates NBD.
The issue is not limited to Bank Leumi, as Emirati companies signed contracts with Bank Hapoalim, whose name is also on the blacklist.
In the UAE, it was announced that a memorandum of understanding had been signed between "Hapoalim" and "Emirates NBD", and this agreement was celebrated as the first between two Israeli and Emirati banks.
Cinema in support of settlement
The UAE's contracts with Israeli institutions supporting settlement are not limited to banks. Rather, the Abu Dhabi Film Commission announced the signing of a framework agreement for cultural cooperation with the Israeli Film Fund and the Sam Spiegel School of Film Production in Jerusalem.
The film fund is supervised by the Israeli Ministry of Culture and the Israel Film Council.
On November 6, 2019, the Hebrew newspaper "Haaretz" said that the Israeli Film Council approved the establishment of 3 new cinema funds, including one in the occupied West Bank settlements.
Two models holding the Emirati and Israeli flags (Reuters)
Several international companies have suspended their dealings with their Israeli counterparts working in settlements, fearing that they will be prosecuted in the International Criminal Court, which is expected to soon make a decision regarding launching a criminal investigation of war crimes committed by Israel in the occupied Palestinian territories.
The Palestinians have often called for a "halt to immediate dealing and divestment" from the blacklisted companies.
Last February, the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights had set its blacklist on the basis that the companies included in it carried out one or more of 9 activities related to settlements.
Among these nine activities are "banking and financial operations that assist in the development, expansion or maintenance of settlements themselves and their activities, including the provision of loans for housing and the development of businesses."
The blacklist was prepared in the context of "follow-up to the report of the independent international fact-finding mission to investigate the effects of the construction of Israeli settlements on the civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights of the Palestinian people, throughout the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem."