West Bank settlers visit UAE to lay plans for direct exports

"I could not believe that I would get to see this thing in my life. For us, brothers and sisters from both sides, from Israel and Dubai, sitting around the same table, it is a great honor."

The Samaria Regional Council's delegation to Dubai meets with local businessmen, 10.11.2020. (photo credit: COURTESY OF THE SAMARIA REGIONAL COUNCIL.)
The Samaria Regional Council's delegation to Dubai meets with local businessmen, 10.11.2020.
(photo credit: COURTESY OF THE SAMARIA REGIONAL COUNCIL.)
 In a move that belies Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions efforts, a settler business delegation is in the United Arab Emirates this week to plan for direct exports from their region to one of Israeli’s newest Arab allies.
“Coming soon – direct export from Samaria to the UAE!,” an excited Samaria Regional Council head Yossi Dagan wrote on his Facebook page on Wednesday.
According to his office, the Samaria Regional Council is the first Israeli municipality to send a business delegation to the UAE in the aftermath of the Israeli-UAE normalization deal that was signed in September.
“In the last two and a half days I have held in Dubai, together company managers and factories from Samaria, a marathon of meetings with local businessmen, to produce economic partnerships between the UAE and businesses from Samaria,” Dagan wrote.
“In the collaborations we are creating right now in the UAE, we are taking another step on the way to turning the Shomron region into a business center and a central economic power in the state of Israel,” Dagan said.
His spokeswoman Esther Alush said that no one in the UAE seemed to care that they were from Judea and Samaria.
There is no doubt that this visit helps to bury BDS, she said.
Dagan seized the moment to also call on Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to annex the settlements. Israel agreed to suspend annexation plans as a precondition to signing the normalization deal with the UAE and Bahrain.
"Most of the citizens of Israel, and I inside them, continue and read, and even demand Prime Minister Netanyahu to apply full sovereignty in Judea and Samaria.”
The delegation landed in Dubai earlier this week, having travelled on the first commercial flight from Tel Aviv to Dubai. It included factory and company managers and businessmen from the Samaria region and its industrial zone. They held meetings to discuss future collaborations on the topics of water desalination and agricultural technologies.
In a marathon of business meetings, the manufacturers, along with Dagan, met with about 20 businessmen and large companies in the fields of agriculture, pesticides and plastics, as well as with companies that are interested in fast-growing crops.
This, due to the coronavirus crisis that has forced the UAE to rely more heavily on local crops and pest control companies.
Among the manufacturers who joined the delegation were: Boaz Shitzer, CEO of AST from the Shahak industrial zone in Samaria, which provides technological solutions for desalination and water recycling around the world; Moshe Lev Ran, vice president of Twito Plast from the Barkan Industrial Area in Samaria, specializes in the production of accessories for air conditioning and energy saving technologies; Yair Wolovich, who represents 30 agronomy and crop development companies in Israel, mainly in Samaria, as well as representatives from the Central Samaria Development Company, and the council's CEO, Amitai Roitman, who has been establishing the Samaria Municipal Economic Company in recent months.
 In a statement, the delegation said they had heard from their Emirati counterparts about the unique needs of the area and discussed future collaborations with them, mainly in the fields of agronomy, crops and water desalination.
"Samaria is at the forefront in the fields of industry and commerce, a pioneer in forging ties and creating international collaborations," explained Dagan.
"[Our] strategy is to lead everywhere, to be the first at every opportunity – for the building of Samaria and the development of Samaria's roads, construction and economy are the ones that drive the development of the State of Israel in general and Samaria in particular.
"There is an opportunity here for both sides to profit from collaborations that can be created from normalization in the face of such a strategic and important neighbor. The United Arab Emirates is an advanced country at the forefront of development and investment in our honor to create trade and industry ties with them."