Title: Israeli Weapon Makers Absent at Dubai Airshow Amid Mounting Tensions in the Region
Word Count: 355
Subtitle: Emirati and Israeli relations strained as Arab and Muslim nations call for arms embargo on Israel
Dubai, UAE – The opening day of the prestigious Dubai Airshow saw the exhibition stands of two leading Israeli weapon makers, Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) and Rafael Advanced Defense Systems, standing empty. The reason for their absence remains unclear, particularly since both companies had previously signed joint development programs with United Arab Emirates (UAE) state arms manufacturer EDGE during the last Dubai Airshow.
Visitors were left puzzled as the IAI exhibition stand was cordoned off with red ropes, and there were no representatives from either company present. However, Elbit Systems, another Israeli defense company, had a staffed exhibition stand, albeit with one staff member refusing to answer questions.
These developments come amid mounting tensions resulting from the Israel-Hamas war in Gaza, which has prompted Arab and Muslim nations to call for a halt in arms sales to Israel. The death toll and destruction in Gaza have been met with international outcry, leading to increasing criticism of Israel. In a joint-meeting of Arab League and Organisation of Islamic Cooperation states, attendees, including Emirati Vice President Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, voiced support for an arms embargo on Israel.
Interestingly, Elbit Systems established a UAE-registered company earlier this year to collaborate with the Emirati military. Since the establishment of diplomatic ties between Israel and the UAE in 2020, following a U.S.-brokered agreement, Israeli companies have only openly participated in UAE exhibitions and conferences. The UAE has expressed its intention to maintain these diplomatic ties, despite the international condemnation of the ongoing conflict in Gaza.
While the reasons behind the absence of IAI and Rafael Advanced Defense Systems at the Dubai Airshow remain uncertain, it is apparent that tensions in the region have cast a shadow over the event. As calls for an arms embargo on Israel continue to grow, it remains to be seen whether this will impact future partnerships and collaborations between Israeli and Emirati defense companies.
As geopolitical tensions persist, the absence of these Israeli weapon makers undoubtedly reflects the complexities transforming the Middle East’s defense landscape, leaving room for uncertainty and speculation about the future of regional defense partnerships.
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