Israel’s president has made his first ever visit to the United Arab Emirates. The trip is symbolic of a rapprochement between the two countries. Isaac Herzog met with Abu Dhabi’s crown prince on Sunday to discuss cooperation in trade, technology and health. The trip follows a visit by Naftali Bennett last month, a first by an Israeli prime minister.
Also in the programme, we look at why Israeli Foreign Minister Yair Lapid has demanded the removal of an Amnesty International report that labels Israel as an “apartheid” state. It found that Palestinians are treated as an inferior racial group and systematically deprived of their rights. It also said that Israel’s policies of segregation, dispossession and exclusion are applied across all territories under its control. The London-based NGO is the latest human rights group to accuse the country of apartheid.
Meanwhile, a rare cold snap has blanketed much of Israel, the West Bank and Jordan in snow. Lebanon and Syria have also been grappling with the harsh weather, making living conditions for the most vulnerable even more difficult. The United Nations estimates that 90 percent of Syrian refugee households live in extreme poverty, with precarious tents falling under the weight of the snow.