UAE COURT REVERSES DEATH PENALTY FOR ISRAELI FACING DRUG CHARGES
June 30, 2022:
The United Arab Emirates has cancelled a death sentence issued earlier this year to an Israeli woman who was convicted of cocaine possession, her lawyer said on 28 June 2022. (Source: The New Arab, 28/06/2022)
Fida Kiwan, a Palestinian citizen of Israel, was arrested in Dubai in March 2021 after half a kilogram of cocaine was found at a rented apartment she was staying in. She claimed the cocaine did not belong to her, according to reports.
The case was a potential test of ties between the two countries, which normalized relations in 2020, in the first of the so-called Abraham Accords between Israel and four Arab countries.
Mordechai Tzivin, an Israeli lawyer representing her, said the death sentence was dropped on appeal but that she would likely still get a lengthy prison sentence.
There was no immediate comment from Israeli or Emirati authorities.
The UAE's normalization with Israel has turned Dubai into an Israeli tourist destination, and several top Israeli officials have met with their counterparts in the Gulf State.
Israel’s Foreign Ministry has said it is following the case through its consular department and representatives in the UAE.
Israeli media reported that Kiwan came to Dubai for work at the invitation of a Palestinian acquaintance. She was arrested a short while later after a search of her apartment turned up the drugs.