(The Inside Palestine)_ Settler companies that produce wine, tahini, olive oil and honey have signed a deal with the Dubai distribution company FAM Holding, to export their products to the United Arab Emirates, the Samaria Regional Council announced on Monday.
Israeli companies have signed agreements with the Emirates even before a normalization deal was signed between their two governments in September and ratified in October.
But Monday’s agreements mark the first such agreement to export settler goods to the UAE.
According to the Samaria Regional Council, these are the first export business deals to be organized between an Israeli municipality and the UAE.
Samaria Regional Council head Yossi Dagan led the first Israeli municipal led business delegation to the UAE last month to lay the groundwork for the deals, his office said. He returned this week with company representatives so they could sign the agreements.
“This morning we are making history,” Dagan said at a small ceremony held in the FAM Holdings office. The table was adorned with small flags from the UAE, Israel and the company.
“We are opening a new economic page between the best companies in Samaria and FAM. I am very excited and happy with their standing,” he said.
“Samaria strives to lead in all areas, and also in export and business development,” Dagan said. “The Samaria area that I represent is located in the Israeli state’s heartland.”
Samaria is one of the fastest growing regions demographically and is also advancing economically, he added.
These agreements, which he said he hopes will be followed by others from his region, will strengthen economic cooperation between Samaria and Dubai as well as between the UAE and Israel.
Dagan added that he hopes that “we will always be friends on a personal and business level, like a family.”
FAM Holding CEO Dr. Faisal Ali Mousa, who also attended the ceremony, said that “we are very happy to have you all here.”
It was a situation, Mousa said, he could never have imagined or dreamed about. Had someone asked him if such a thing was possible, he would have said, “no.”
“This is a very big goal we have reached today,” Moussa said.
FAM Holding is in talks with other Israeli companies and is excited to sign deals to expand the business cooperation between the two countries, he said.
“We are telling the world, not only the Emirates and Israel, that we are real business people. We are real brothers. We are real friends. We are going to do business together and we want to live in peace.
“I want to thank Yossi Dagan for opening the door for us,” he said.
Among the wineries that signed deals to export to the UAE are Tura Winery, the Har Bracha Winery and the Arnon Winery, as well as Paradise Honey.
Earlier this month Bahrain – which also signed a normalization deal with Israel in September and ratified this month – clarified that it would not label settlement products as “Made in Israel.” The UAE has not issued a statement on the matter.