On Wednesday night, two Emirati tourists were arrested by the Israeli police in Tel Aviv, marking an unprecedented event taking place for the first time since the United Arab Emirates and Israel signed the Abraham Accords in September 2020.
Despite tourism being one of the main focuses of both countries following the 2020 agreement that normalized ties between the UAE and Israel, the Israeli police arrested two Emirati citizens in Tel Aviv while on a recreational visit to Israel.
'my name is Adel, i came with embassy'— Jalal (@JalalAK_jojo) August 3, 2022
An Emirati citizen getting the Tel Aviv treatment last night https://t.co/zlXvKikLKG
According to the Israeli police statement, the two Emirati individuals, both males, were near an area where the police were on an anti-crime mission in Tel Aviv, which is why the police force suspected the two Emiratis before vetting and releasing them again.
In the video, a police member can be heard speaking English, as he asks the man laying on the ground about his name before the latter responds: "My name is Adel" while being put in handcuffs.
Allegedly two Emiratis were subjected to #Israel's racial profiling and arrested after a shooting in Tel Aviv yesterday - if you are Arab Israel will always treat you like a suspect https://t.co/a9Z9mEbQtY— Dr Andreas Krieg (@andreas_krieg) August 3, 2022
However, as the video of the brief arrest went viral online, many social media commentators argued that the arrest was racially motivated, suggesting that the Arab-looking tourists were mistaken for Palestinians, routinely treated as "suspected terrorists" by the Israeli police.
Some social media users went on to call the instead "example of racial profiling" meant against Arabs in Israel.
According to 2022 estimates, Israel has been expecting near 100k Emirati tourists on annual basis, as the Israeli government started easing travel restrictions post the COVID-19 pandemic.
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