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APRIL 2021

UAE Announces $10Bn Investment Fund For Israel, To Develop Joint Air Defense System

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UAE Announces $10Bn Investment Fund For Israel, To Develop Joint Air Defense System

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On March 11th, the UAE announced a $10 billion fund for investments in Israel.

This was decided, following a “constructive phone call” between Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Through the fund, the UAE will invest in and alongside Israel across sectors including energy, manufacturing, water, space, healthcare and agri-tech.

The investment fund will support development initiatives to promote regional economic cooperation between the two countries. Fund allocations will derive from government and private sector institutions.

“This initiative is an integral part of the historic peace accord signed by the UAE and Israel with the United States’ support, and demonstrates the benefits of peace by improving the lives of the region’s peoples. It is a manifestation of the new spirit of friendship and cooperation between the three countries, as well their common will to advance the region,” Gulf News praised the progress.

Notably, Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) announced plans to jointly develop an advanced anti-drone missile system with the United Arab Emirates’ state-owned weapons maker EDGE.

Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) said in a statement that the companies will work together to build the system in order “to detect, identify, classify, and intercept a broad range of threats.”

IAI said the Counter-Unmanned Aircraft System (C-UAS) will include soft kill solutions such as electronic jamming and cyber takeovers, and hard kill capabilities such as guns, missiles, electromagnetics and lasers, as well as advanced command and control.

“The C-UAS is fully autonomous requiring no to limited human” supervision, the major Israeli aerospace company said.

“A series of countermeasures, ranging from jamming to drone destruction, will be offered based on the level of threat and the customer’s targeted operating environment,” the statement added.

IAI further asserted that the project would have “wider ranging benefits for the [Middle East and North Africa] region and beyond.”

Boaz Levy, president and CEO of IAI, welcomed the project as “a stepping-stone for further business and strategic alliances between” Tel Aviv and Abu Dhabi.

Faisal al-Bannai, CEO and Managing Director of EDGE, said the project is set to strengthen the UAE’s advanced technology portfolio and partnerships in the region, adding that the deal is “in line” with the recently brokered normalization accords.

“We believe that this collaboration will help both companies through the transfer of knowledge and sharing of capabilities,” Bannai said.

Support for Palestinians from the side of the UAE is all but forfeit. Israeli Channel 12 television network, citing the Center for Near East Policy Research, reported on February 5 that while the UAE funded the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) $53 million and $51 million in 2018 and 2019 respectively, it provided the agency with a mere $1 million in 2020, as such support is decreasing rapidly.

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