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January 17, 2014 10:04 am

Israeli Minister to Visit UAE in First Such Trip Since Assassination of Hamas Commander

avatar by JNS.org

Minister Silvan Shalom. Photo: Wiki Commons.

JNS.org Israeli Energy and Water Minister Silvan Shalom and a delegation of officials traveled to the Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates on Friday to attend a summit on renewable energy, Reuters reported.

Shalom is the first Israeli official to travel to the UAE, which does not recognize Israel, since 2010, when Hamas terrorist Mahmoud al-Mabouh was found dead in a Dubai hotel. UAE officials blamed the Mossad for the assassination.

Analysts speculate that the visit could be seen as a move towards closer cooperation between Israel and the Gulf States. Both sides fear increasing influence of Iran and its nuclear weapons program. Last fall, a report in the Sunday Times said that Saudi Arabia might help Israel in an attack against Iran.

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