Occupied Jerusalem- The arrest of 3 Israelis a few days ago in the UAE, after they were caught stealing duty-free goods from the duty-free market at Dubai Airport, was not an exceptional incident, but rather revealed the depth of the phenomenon of Israeli involvement in hotel thefts, traffic violations and drug-related criminal files.
During the first year of tourist normalization, Israeli media reported that riots were carried out by Israeli tourists in hotels and parties in the Emirates, and accidents that damaged luxury cars.
Smuggling of gifts and expensive merchandise has been thwarted, and attempts to evade paying for drinks in hotel minibars by filling empty bottles of drinks with water and cooking in hotel rooms despite its prohibition have been revealed.
The curtain came down on the first year of tourist normalization, titled “They were caught red-handed,” as the Israeli news company “Mako” reported that 3 Israeli tourists were detained at Dubai Airport after they were caught red-handedly stealing products and merchandise from the duty-free market, and expensive wine bottles and packages of chocolate were found in their possession. A gold-plated iPhone cell phone.
Accidents and thefts
In light of the large number of incidents indicating the involvement of Israeli tourists in theft, the duty-free staff asked the three tourists to provide clarifications about the stolen items seized from their possession, and they were fined several thousand dirhams, after they were asked to buy the products they stole, and only then were they allowed to go up to the The plane bound for Ben Gurion Airport in Lod.
The news company quoted an Israeli tourist named Alon, who was found at the place the moment the stolen goods were seized with the three tourists, as saying, “The workers in the free market did not want to cause chaos and riot or involve the police so as not to harm the other tourists there.”
Alon added, “In general, Dubai is very sensitive to the relationship of normalization with Israel, and is trying hard not to shed light on the involvement of the Israelis in committing criminal crimes in the Emirates, and accordingly, many accidents, thefts and criminal offenses are not reported to the local police, and the Israeli tourist is satisfied with fines. and warning him.”
silence and silence
What reinforces the proposition – which indicates that the UAE refrains from highlighting many cases of theft and criminal offenses of tourists from Israel in order to preserve joint relations – is the secrecy and failure to disclose the details of the arrest of an Israeli tourist (29 years) a few days ago upon landing at Dubai Airport.
According to the Israeli Channel 12, the tourist was taken for investigation by the Dubai Police, where the details of the investigation are still unclear, but they are taking place in the possibility of his involvement in a drug or theft case.
In a state of secrecy over the arrest case, the Tel Aviv embassy in Dubai contacted the detainee’s family and law enforcement agencies in the UAE, where the Israeli Foreign Ministry confirmed his arrest, but refused to provide more details under the pretext of “individual privacy.”
seizure and detention
The offenses for Israelis in Dubai are not limited to theft or drug-related offenses, but also include traffic offenses. Last October, an Israeli tourist was fined $12,000 after the police caught him after he crossed a red light, according to the Kiba website, affiliated with the right-wing and settler camp.
This tourist was also fined an additional $5,000 by the car rental company, for he was traveling in a rented luxury Lamborghini car that was quarantined by the Dubai Police for 30 days. Driving for 30 days, according to applicable traffic laws.
The law enforcement authorities obliged the Israeli tourist to pay the fine and prevented him from leaving their lands until he paid the fine in full. The tourist sought the help of one of his friends in Tel Aviv, where he took a loan from an Israeli bank and transferred the value of the fine to the Dubai authorities, who detained him for a week and released him after paying the amount.
Violations and fines
The Israelis believe that the Emirates is like Israel, where they can commit traffic violations and reckless driving and do whatever they like without supervision and accountability. But here in the Emirates, an Israeli tour guide says, “There are cameras on the roads documenting everything and the fines are very high. Tourists cannot act naively, they do everything to eliminate crime and traffic violations.”
According to Mako’s correspondent, Shimon Evergan, it is estimated that during the first year of normalization between the two sides, hundreds of Israelis were fined for committing traffic violations in Abu Dhabi, noting that the vast majority of violations are for crossing a red light.
He explained that the Israeli tourist has to understand that the UAE is very strict with traffic violators, regardless of whether he is a tourist or a local citizen, and apparently this tourist only understands the language of fines and will not abide by the laws unless he feels that this will cost his pocket and fine him exorbitant amounts.
Forbidden and allowed
Returning to the beginnings of tourist normalization in December 2020, which constituted the first weeks of Israeli tourist delegations in the Emirates, the phenomenon of some Israeli tourists stealing items and property from hotel rooms quickly became apparent to the Emirati law enforcement authorities.
The UAE initially refrained from submitting an official complaint to the Israeli side in order not to disturb the tourism relations between the two sides, according to what was reported at the time by the website of the Yedioth Ahronoth newspaper, which listed and documented complaints against Israeli tourists in Abu Dhabi and Dubai hotels, citing Israeli tourism companies.
This phenomenon quickly became apparent, despite the Israeli Foreign Ministry’s initiative to issue a “memorandum of conduct” that included instructions on “prohibited and permitted” and instructions to Israelis on how to behave when traveling to the UAE and staying in its hotels.
Despite the memorandum of conduct and instructions, during the first year of tourist normalization hundreds of violations were recorded of Israeli tourists committing offenses of theft from the duty-free market and traffic violations, except for drug-related criminal files.
Perhaps the most prominent is the phenomenon of theft of some hotel belongings, equipment, antiques, towels, kettles, lamps and bed linen from hotel rooms, and there has become a phenomenon of hotel staff inspecting the bags of Israeli tourists before leaving.