Photo Credit: Gershon Elinson/Flash90Gershon Elinson/Flash90
Kibbutz Sde Eliyahu workers harvest palm dates, September 7, 2020.

After receiving official approval from the United Arab Emirates (UAE) authorities last week to export fresh agricultural produce and propagating material from Israel to the Emirates, the first shipment of about 200 kg of dates from Israel departed for the UAE.

Coal to New Castle? Perhaps. But following a series of meetings and coordination between Israel’s Minister of Agriculture Alon Schuster and the Director-General of his office, Dr. Nahum Itzkovich, and the UAE’s Office for Climate Change and the Environment, Israel received official approval from the Emirates to export fresh produce and raw materials, and those, it appears, include dates.

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According to Reuters, the UAE imported 80% of their $10 billion in fresh produce sold there in 2018.

This is one of the latest developments in the rapidly developing commercial relationship between Israel and the UAE, after these two countries along with Bahrain signed a historic peace agreement at the White House on September 15.

It was the first agreement signed between Israel and an Arab country since the peace with Jordan in 1994. Announced on August 13, the Abraham Accords are expected to lead to similar agreements with other Arab countries, possibly Oman or Saudi Arabia.

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Aryeh Savir is director of the International division of Tazpit News Agency.