United Arab Emirates residents will have the ability to keep in Israel for as much as 90 days on a single go to, the Gulf energy’s state information company WAM mentioned on Thursday, after it grew to become the primary Arab nation to achieve a visa-exemption settlement with Israel.
Till just lately, solely Egypt and Jordan had full relations with Israel, however their nationals should nonetheless apply for entry permits. Some residents of Arab states with out formal ties have been admitted on a case-by-case foundation for commerce or pilgrimage.
Diplomatic sources say the applying course of helps Israel display screen potential safety threats. Professional-Palestinian sentiment is powerful in Egypt and Jordan, which see comparatively few vacationer or enterprise exchanges with their neighbour Israel.
Israeli Regional Cooperation Minister Ofir Akunis mentioned safety “was a weighty issue and remains a weighty issue” within the choice to grant UAE residents the identical entry Israel provides Western nations with which it has visa exemption preparations.
“Happily there are other means of distinguishing terrorists from people who you explicitly know are peace-seekers coming here to do business or just tour around Israel,” he instructed Israel’s Military Radio with out elaborating.
The UAE and Bahrain formally established relations with Israel at a September 15 ceremony within the White Home, changing into the primary Arab states in additional than 1 / 4 of a century to interrupt what had been a long-standing taboo within the area.
The rapprochement, which has uncorked bilateral commerce, has been decried by Palestinians however solid by the Gulf states as according to values of coexistence and progress.
An Israeli diplomat mentioned visa exemptions are “not on the cards” with Bahrain, the place a Sunni Muslim minority guidelines a Shia majority and which has seen protests in opposition to the accord with Israel.