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Israel suspends fuel-transport deal with UAE

The environmental decision to halt the fuel-transport deal with the Emirates created the first real diplomatic crisis between the countries since the signing of the Abraham Accords.
People and children gather at a Red Sea beach near the Eilat-Ashkelon Pipeline Company's (EAPC) oil terminal by Israel's southern port city of Eilat on Feb. 10, 2021.

On July 23, Prime Minister Naftali Bennett called Emirati Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed to congratulate him on the occasion of the Muslim holiday of Eid al-Adha. It was the first phone call between the two men. Both sides reported that it was a good conversation, focusing on the importance of the normalization agreement between their two countries.

The Emirates also reported that the two men discussed future cooperation, the most recent developments and challenges in the Middle East, and their commitment to achieving peace and prosperity in the region. But what the official spokespeople did not report was that despite this friendly call, a significant diplomatic crisis was simmering beneath the surface, and that it has the potential to ruin the relationship between Israel and the United Arab Emirates, who signed the historic normalization agreement at the White House in September.

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