May 2022 saw the momentum behind the Abraham Accords continue to grow, as the member nations took numerous measures to strengthen their relations. Historic celebrations of Israel’s Independence Day took place in Morocco and Bahrain, and a first ever commemoration ceremony in honor of Israel’s Memorial Day took place in Abu Dhabi.
On the diplomatic front, Israel’s President visited the UAE alongside many other global leaders to offer condolences on the death of UAE President Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, and Kosovo’s Foreign Minister visited Israel for the first time and signed a series of bilateral agreements. The Knesset Abraham Accords Caucus held a hearing in the Knesset on people-to-people relations, and participated in the first ever meeting between members of the caucus and members of their U.S. House Abraham Accords Caucus counterparts.
Numerous deals were signed by Accords countries throughout the month, most notably, the UAE-Israel Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA), which was signed on the final day of the month. Additionally, deals were signed in the health, media, and security sectors. A major Israeli tech delegation led by Start-Up Nation Central visited Morocco for a conference at the end of the month that resulted in over a dozen MOUs being signed, confirming AAPI’s recent assessment that programs that increase exposure between potential partners in Israel and Morocco would help increase the number of investment deals between the two countries. Additionally, the Israeli Innovation, Science and Technology Minister and Moroccan Minister of Higher Education, Scientific Research and Innovation signed the first government-to-government agreement of its kind between the two countries.
On the cultural front, May saw the completion of the renovation of a historic Jewish cemetery in Morocco, the first performance by an Israeli orchestra in Egypt in over forty years, and several notable Abraham Accords related people-to-people delegations to Israel.
May 4, 2022- Israel’s ambassador to the United Arab Emirates, led a ceremony to commemorate Israel’s Memorial Day for fallen soldiers and victims of terror in Abu Dhabi in the first official Israel Memorial Day ceremony to be held in an Arab state.
May 5, 2022- Morocco’s Jewish Community publicly celebrated Israel’s Independence Day for the first time in decades.
May 6-12, 2022- ISRAEL-is, an NGO focused on building people-to-people ties, led a “Leaders of Tomorrow” delegation to Israel of 20 Moroccan young adults under the age of 35. Participants came from a social or business enterprise background and worked together in teams to develop initiatives that could both impact social change as well as build connections between Morocco and Israel.
May 8, 2022- Israel’s KSM (Kahn-Sagol-Maccabi), the Research and Innovation Center of the Maccabi health fund, and the government hospitals of Bahrain, signed a medical research agreement focusing on collaborative research including big data analysis and various clinical trials, with an emphasis on personalized medicine in FemTech (women’s health), health economics, COVID-19, trauma and emergency medicine, and diseases endemic to the region.
May 8-18, 2022-Sharaka hosted a 14-member delegation of mainly Muslim-Americans of Pakistani background to Israel and the UAE to show support for the Abraham Accords. They were received by top Israeli officials, including President Isaac Herzog. This visit featured the first ever Pakistani Jew to openly visit Israel.
May 16, 2022- The co-chairs of the Knesset Abraham Accords Caucus, Ofir Akunis and Ruth Wasserman Lande, held a hearing with testimony from civil society groups involved in promoting people-to-people ties, with the participation of he US Embassy, the EU Mission, and the Kosovo Embassy in Israel. The meeting began with a moment of silence in memory of Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan. The Caucus meeting highlighted continued broad cross-party support for the AA in the Knesset, as well as EU support for the Accords.
May 17, 2022- The Dubai Advantage Forum, part of Dubai FDI’s first Global Mission to Israel, took place in Tel Aviv. The forum was organized by Blue Laurel.
May 19, 2022- DSIT, an Israeli developer of maritime defense and security solutions, signed an MoU with the Al Fattan Group from the United Arab Emirates, for the supply of its underwater sonar systems.
May 9, 2022 The first ever meeting between members of the US House Abraham Accords Caucus and the co-chairs of the Knesset Abraham Accords Caucus. Participants included Representatives Ann Wagner, David Trone, Cathy McMorris Rodgers, and Knesset Members Ruth Wasserman Lande, and Ofir Akunis, and AAPI.
May 11, 2022 UAE’s TRENDS Research and Advisory, and the Israel-based international news channel, i24NEWS signed a cooperation agreement that will allow the two sides to produce joint media content, exchange data, and host experts as guests and commentators on the channel's programs.
May 20, 2022 An Israeli orchestra played in Cairo for the first time in 40 years at the Independence Day festivities in the Israeli Embassy in Egypt. The orchestra played Egyptian classics from the 1950’s and 1960’s.
May 9, 2022 The Foreign Ministers of Israel and Kosovo signed a series of bilateral agreements in the areas of culture, education, science and film co-production. The Kosovar Foreign Minister also signed a Holocaust education agreement with Yad Vashem chairman Dani Dayan. This was the first visit to Israel of Kosovo’s Foreign Minister since normalization.
May 15, 2022 Israeli President Isaac Herzog met new United Arab Emirates President Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed al-Nahyan in Abu Dhabi to offer condolences on the death of UAE President Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al-Nahyan
May 25, 2022 In an appearance at the 2022 Davos World Economic Forum, Emirati Minister of State for Foreign Trade Thani Ahmed Al Zeyoudi predicted that trade between the United Arab Emirates and Israel would reach $5 billion in the “upcoming few years.”
May 19, 2022- Authorities in Morocco completed a renovation of the historic Jewish cemetery in the city of Meknes, part of a broader overhaul of Jewish heritage sites. The 10-acre graveyard contains thousands of graves and is centuries old.
May 23-25, 2022- The inaugural “Connect to Innovate” conference organized by Start-Up Nation Central (SNC), an independent non-profit that builds bridges to Israeli innovation, and co-organized by Moroccan company CPR, was held in Casablanca. The conference featured some 150 people across Israeli and Moroccan delegations of business leaders, government officials, and diplomatic figures, including representatives from 25 Israeli tech companies, exploring mutual opportunities. A total of 13 memorandums of understanding (MOUs) between businesses and government agencies were signed at the event.
May 24-26- Mubadala’s Global Aerospace Summit included extensive participation from Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI), including a keynote address from IAI’s CTO.
May 26, 2022- The Israeli Embassy in Manama hosted a reception celebrating Israel's 74th Independence Day, attended by hundreds of Bahraini government officials, business leaders and guests. The event marked the first time that Israel has held a Yom Haatzmaut event in a GCC country.
May 26, 2022- Israeli Innovation, Science and Technology Minister Orit Farkash-Hacohen and Moroccan Minister of Higher Education, Scientific Research and Innovation Abdellatif Miraoui signed the first government-to-government agreement of its kind between the two countries. The two countries will collaborate on artificial intelligence (AI), water desalination, desert technologies, food processing technologies, biotechnology, renewable energy, medical technologies and the pharmaceutical industry, smart cities, the automotive industry, information technology, space and humanities and the social sciences.
May 29, 2022- Israel’s Ministry of Economy and Industry announced a new proposed plan between Israel and Egypt to jointly develop the Nitzana commercial border crossing, engage in R&D cooperation; develop joint projects in the area of green energy; and increase the number of direct flights. The plan will also see Israel increase imports of food, fresh fish, and construction materials from Egypt and exports of agriculture solutions and technologies. The two countries are targeting $700 million in annual bilateral trade by 2025, a target that is similar to AAPI’s assessment of the potential for bilateral trade by 2025.
May 30, 2022- i24NEWS of Israel announced that it is launching operations in Morocco, becoming the first international news network based in Israel to launch in Morocco.
May 31, 2022- Israel and the United Arab Emirates signed the UAE-Israel Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA), which abolishes customs duties on "96 percent of the products" exchanged between the two sides, including food, agriculture, cosmetics, medical equipment, and medicine. This agreement is Israel’s first ever free trade agreement with an Arab country.