An Arab Israeli Faces the Death Penalty in Dubai

Will Israel intervene and request extradition? Will Arab Members of Knesset blame the Jewish state? The Abraham Accords hit their first major bump

By Edy Cohen | | Topics: UAE, Abraham Accords
An Israeli Arab is arrested in Dubai while trying to smuggle half a ton of cocaine
Photo: Facebook/Dubai Police

The bilateral relations between the United Arab Emirates and Israel have gone through ups and downs as well as a short break during the change of government in Israel. Ministers of the Lapid-Bennett government have already made three trips there, among them a visit by Foreign Minister Yair Lapid to inaugurate the new Israeli Embassy in Abu Dhabi.

Today the relationship is going through an unusual event as the Israel Police have passed on intelligence about a planned drug smuggling operation by an Israeli Arab to the Dubai Police.

Halil Dasuki, a 31-year-old resident of Lod, traveled to Dubai to make a drug deal that would have earned him tens of millions of dollars. He took a gamble, but he lost big. He was arrested last week in Dubai by local police on suspicion of involvement in the trafficking of half a ton of cocaine. Dubai police released his photo along with a picture of the drugs seized in his car on the street in Dubai in what was dubbed “Operation Scorpio.” The drugs are estimated to be worth $136 million.

This arrest is unprecedented. No Israelis have ever been apprehended in this Arab country. This is no minor offense in the Muslim world, and it is one of the biggest drug deals ever seen in the Emirates.

According to published information, it was the Israel Police that informed the Dubai Police regarding Dasuki's intention to smuggle drugs. The Dubai Police had been following the defendant since he landed at Dubai Airport until his capture. He was under constant surveillance by the authorities. Everything he did was documented and even the purchases he made for smuggling were observed.

UAE law allows the death penalty for drug traffickers. It remains unclear whether Dusaki will face such a fate, or if he will instead be given a lengthy prison sentence or extradited to serve jail time in Israel. What is clear is that this man has gotten himself into a lot of trouble. Let’s watch to see what the Israeli authorities or Arab members of Knesset do. Will they rush to intervene to have Dusaki extradited to Israel in order to avoid the death penalty? Or will they blame the Israeli “occupation” for forcing an Arab Israeli to become a criminal?

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