With the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Israel actively strengthening their ties, the former has recently pardoned an Israeli woman sentenced to life imprisonment.
Fidaa Kiwan, an Arab-Israeli photographer, was allowed to return home on Sunday, with Israel describing her release as a “special gesture” to President Isaac Herzog, who requested her release.
Arrested in April 2021 over cannabis and cocaine, Fidaa was initially given a death sentence, which was later turned into life imprisonment after an appeal.
She was in Dubai for work when she was found with 500g of cannabis and 50g of cocaine, which she claimed did not belong to her.
The Israeli President thanked the UAE President, Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed al-Nahyan, and wished him a “month of kindness and peace” during Ramadan.
It is important to note that the UAE has strict anti-drug laws, and possessing even tiny amounts can result in sentences as harsh as the death penalty and life imprisonment.
UAE-Israel relations have become stronger since the Abraham Accords were signed in 2020 under the mediation of the United States (US).
Following the truce, both countries reached a number of economic agreements, with hundreds of thousands of Israeli tourists going to Dubai.