RNA - The tweet by Israeli journalist Edy Cohen claims that an Emirati pilot had been involved in recent air raids on positions of Palestinian resistance groups inside the Gaza Strip.
He said the pilot "was part of the Israeli air force in the bombing of” resistance forces in Gaza "three weeks ago."
He went on to challenge the Emirati deputy police chief, Dhahi Khalfan Tamim, who had apparently denied the participation of UAE pilots in Israel's aerial assaults against Gaza.
“Does Dahi Khalfan Tamim deny the presence of an Emirati pilot who was part of the Israeli air force in the bombing of ... Gaza three weeks ago,” Cohen said in his tweet, adding, “He trains on our Israeli f35s. I challenge him to deny it.”
هل ينكر ضاحي خلفان تميم 🇦🇪 وجود طيار إماراتي شارك ضمن سلاح الجو الاسرائيلي 🇮🇱 في القصف على الإرهابيين في غزة قبل ثلاث أسابيع .. وهو يتدرب على طائرات f35 الإسرائيلية عندنا .. !؟ أتحداه أن ينكر ذلك .. 😃🇮🇱@Dhahi_Khalfan
— ايدي كوهين אדי כהן (@EdyCohen) August 9, 2018
Officials in Abu Dhabi and Tel Aviv have not yet made any comment on the claim.
Cohen's tweet comes over a month after Israeli media reported a visit by an Emirati military delegation to the occupied territories for talks with the regime’s air force on the “performance” of advanced US-made F-35 stealth fighter jets.
Same tactics used by Israel in Gaza.. Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Israel are war criminals and human rights abusers of equal proportions.
— Carlos Reo-Dero (@Carlos_ReoDero) August 9, 2018
According to Press TV, the UAE is said to be after purchasing its own fleet of F-35 fighter jets.
The UAE -- along with other Persian Gulf regimes -- has no formal ties with Tel Aviv and portrays itself as a staunch defender of Palestinian struggles against Israel's occupation.
On the surface, Abu Dhabi usually criticizes Israel's recourse to deadly violence in Gaza and donates funds to the humanitarian crisis unfolding in the Palestinian territory.
Israeli journalist: UAE planes participated in the bombing of Gaza! pic.twitter.com/N8dN0VdunM
— Yaser Abuiteiwi (@Y3Df2) August 9, 2018
However, the UAE and Israel are widely reported to have promoted their clandestine and backchannel cooperation over the past years.
In June, the New Yorker magazine reported that Israel had maintained a secret but extremely close relationship with the UAE for more than two decades, with a special focus on intelligence sharing and military cooperation, including potential weapons deals.