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UAE bans entry to dual Israeli citizens

JERUSALEM (JTA) — Israeli dual citizenship holders will be banned from entering the United Arab Emirates, Dubai’s police chief announced.

Israeli citizens are not permitted to travel to the country. But Israeli citizens holding other passports do enter the country, mostly for business. 

"We will not allow those who hold Israeli passports into the UAE no matter what other passport they have," Dubai Police Chief Lt. Gen. Dahi Khalfan Tamim said Monday.

In the past, he said, "We knew Israelis from their accents, but when they used European passports to come here, we accepted that and we treated them as Europeans. But after this day, if they have dual citizenship, we will exert extreme caution.

“We know how to recognize them,” Tamim explained, saying his officials would be on the lookout for "Jews" and would identify them by "physical features and the way they speak.”

Israelis have been admitted to the UAE in recent years for specific reasons, including sports competitions and a recent energy conference.

The sanctions come as Dubai insists that it is 99 percent sure that Israel’s Mossad security agency was behind the assassination in a Dubai hotel room of a top Hamas official at the end of January. The assassins used forged passports from five European countries to enter Dubai.

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