Photo Credit: WAM
Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan

Following the announcement of the peace accord with Israel, His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan has issued a Federal Decree-Law No. 04 of 2020, abolishing the Federal Law No. 15 of 1972 regarding boycotting Israel and the penalties thereof, Emirates the News Agency (WAM) reported Saturday.

The Decree comes as part of the UAE’s efforts to expand diplomatic and commercial cooperation with Israel, and by laying out a roadmap towards launching joint cooperation, leading to bilateral relations by stimulating economic growth and promoting technological innovation.


Following the abolition of the Israel Boycott Law, individuals and companies in the UAE may enter into agreements with bodies or individuals residing in Israel or belonging to it by their nationality, in terms of commercial, financial operations, or any other dealings of any nature.

Based on the Decree, it will be permissible to enter, exchange or possess Israeli goods and products of all kinds in the UAE and trade in them.

On May 19, 1951, the Arab League Council established the Central Boycott Office (CBO), with its headquarters in Damascus, and branch offices established in each Arab League member state. The position of Boycott Commissioner was created to direct the CBO and deputies were appointed, who were to function as liaison officers accredited by each member state of the Arab League. The primary task of the Damascus CBO was to coordinate the boycott with its affiliated offices, and to report regularly to Arab League Council.

Biannual meetings were to be held each year after 1951 to coordinate boycott policies and to compile blacklists of individuals and firms which had violated the boycott. Each member state of the Arab League would enforce the resolution through legal and administrative measures. Finally, the resolution stipulated that “participation in regional conferences organized on the initiative of one country or by an international organization could not be attended if Israel were also invited,” expanding upon its 1950 decree that such a conference would not be organized by an Arab state.

The Arab boycott of Israel escalated with the 1973 oil crisis, when the members of the Organization of Arab Petroleum Exporting Countries (OAPEC, consisting of nine Arab members of OPEC plus Egypt and Syria) announced an oil embargo in October 1973, following the US supply of arms to Israel during the 1973 Yom Kippur War, the first time the US directly supported Israel in a war. The OAPEC embargo targeted Canada, Japan, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom and the United States. OAPEC threatened to cut oil production 5% monthly “until the Israeli forces are completely evacuated from all the Arab territories occupied in the June 1967 war.” The embargo lasted for about five months before it was lifted in March 1974, though its aftereffects were to continue.


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