The opening day of the weeklong Dubai Airshow saw empty exhibition stands for Israeli weapons makers Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) and Rafael Advanced Defense Systems. This was likely due to the ongoing Israel-Hamas war in Gaza. The stands were located near the pavilion of United Arab Emirates state arms maker EDGE, with whom IAI and EDGE had signed joint development programs at the previous Dubai Airshow in 2021. Despite emailed requests for comment on their participation, IAI and Rafael did not immediately respond. The IAI exhibition stand was cordoned off with red rope. However, the locally registered company of Israel’s Elbit Systems had staff present at their exhibition stand, although they declined to answer press questions. Arab and Muslim nations have called for a halt in arms sales to Israel in response to the mounting death toll from Israel’s invasion of Gaza. Elbit Systems established a UAE-registered company in 2021 to foster long-term cooperation with the Emirati military. Israeli companies have only openly participated in UAE exhibitions and conferences since 2020, when diplomatic ties were established under the U.S.-brokered Abraham Accords. The UAE intends to maintain these ties despite international outcry over the war in Gaza. Emirati Vice President Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan attended a joint meeting of the Arab League and Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) states that called for an arms embargo on Israel.
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