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International relations

Gulf warms to Israel as attack on UAE underscores common threats

Sprouting seeds of Abraham Accords contrast with fears of rising antisemitism elsewhere

The Israel pavilion at the Dubai Expo hands out fruit as part of a celebration on Jan. 17. (Photo by Nesreen Bakheit)

DUBAI -- When Israel and the United Arab Emirates struck a deal to normalize relations in August 2020, one question was whether it signaled a true turning point or a purely strategic "cold peace." That remains difficult to answer a year and a half later, but there are growing signs of a genuine shift, the latest coming this week.

The two governments exchanged messages of support and appreciation after a drone attack claimed by Yemen's Iran-backed rebels killed three in Abu Dhabi on Monday. Early on Wednesday, Asia time, the Emirati embassy in Tel Aviv thanked Israel's government, parliament and citizens "for conveying their heartfelt solidarity with the UAE after the Houthi militias terrorist attack."

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