Many people guess what relationship will occur between the United Arab Emirates -UAE and Israel after being mediated by the United States of America. It turned out that the move was followed by a series of announcements about business deals and contracts between companies of both countries. What has caught the eye is that a number of the UAE companies have signed contracts with Israeli companies and banks. Although they are on the UN blacklist for supporting illegal settlements in the occupied West Bank, it is known that among the contracts announced by the UAE media, one of them involved Bank Leumi, whose name is on the UN blacklist.
According to the official Emirati media, this Israeli bank has signed agreements with the top three UAE banks namely Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank (ADIB), First Abu Dhabi Bank and Emirates NBD. Bank Leumi is Israel's largest bank based on total assets as of 2015, with branch offices in several countries such as Luxembourg, United States, Switzerland, the UK and China. Although it was nationalized in 1981, most of the bank's shares are now in private hands. The Israeli government is still the largest shareholder with 14.8% of the shares (as of June 2006).
In 2016 and 2018, the UN Human Rights Council approved resolutions to compile a blacklist of companies operating in illegal Israeli settlements in the West Bank. The development of settlements and infrastructure has caused Palestinians to lose their freedom of movement and religion, including access to education. Palestinian Prime Minister, Mohammed Shtayyeh, in an Arabnews post said that these companies are scooping up the natural resources of the Palestinian territories, thereby reducing the population of their natural wealth. For this reason, PM Mohammed Shtayyeh demanded that they immediately close their headquarters and branches in illegal Israeli settlements. According to PM Mohammed Shtayyeh, the presence of these companies is against the attitude of the international community and the UN resolutions.
From the cooperation with Leumi Bank which is blacklisted by the UN, it is clear that both the UAE and Israel are prioritizing their interests without caring for other parties, including the UN, let alone Palestine.
Naturally, this matter will be in the spotlight and it causes concern. Will this disrespect of the international community's concerns regarding the Palestinian issue continue?