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Emirati and Israeli flags in the Israeli coastal city of Netanya. Photo: Jack Guez/AFP via Getty Images

A delegation of senior representatives from all Israeli security and intelligence agencies will travel to the UAE in the next two weeks to discuss security aspects of the U.S.-brokered normalization deal, two Israeli officials tell me.

Why it matters: Israel and the UAE have had a secret security relationship for more than two decades, but Israeli and Emirati officials hope that security dialogue and cooperation between the countries will be broadened as a result of the normalization deal. The Trump administration created a trilateral security dialogue between the U.S., Israel and the UAE.

Details: The Israeli delegation will be headed by Gen. Amir Eshel, the director-general of the Ministry of Defense and the former commander of the Israeli Air Force. The delegation will include representatives from the Mossad, the Shin Bet internal security service, the Israeli military and other agencies, Israeli officials tell me.

  • Eshel and other defense officials were originally scheduled to be part of the Israeli delegation that is traveling to Abu Dhabi on Monday together with a U.S. delegation headed by White House senior adviser Jared Kushner.
  • Officials tell me Israel, the UAE and the U.S. jointly decided to separate the economic and civilian talks planned for Monday from the security and intelligence talks.
  • A date for the security dialogue in Abu Dhabi has not been set yet, but it is expected to take place in September.

The big picture: Kushner, White House national security adviser Robert O’Brien and the rest of the U.S. delegation met Sunday in Jerusalem with Prime Minister Netanyahu to discuss the normalization deal and the trip to Abu Dhabi.

What they're saying:

  • Netanyahu said in press statements after the meeting that the normalization process is moving faster than he expected, but expressed concerns that Iran will try to sabotage the normalization process between Israel and the Arab world.
  • Kushner said the normalization deal between Israel and the UAE will change the region and called it a big step forward toward peace in the Middle East. Kushner added that the deal will further enhance security cooperation between the U.S., Israel and the UAE.
  • O’Brien said that more Muslim and Arab countries are expected to follow the UAE and normalize relations with Israel.

Go deeper

Dec 7, 2020 - World

Scoop: Israel lobbies senators to pass Sudan immunity bill

After a request from the Sudanese government, Israel has started lobbying senators and members of Congress to approve a bill that would give Sudan immunity from future lawsuits in the U.S. by victims of terrorism, senior Israeli officials told me.

Why it matters: The immunity bill was part of a trilateral deal between the U.S., Sudan and Israel that included an agreement to begin the process of normalizing ties. Israeli officials are concerned that the normalization process will come to a halt if the deal unravels. The deadline for passing the bill is Dec. 14.

40 mins ago - World

Jimmy Lai among Hong Kong pro-democracy leaders sentenced to prison

Students standing under a banner during a flag raising ceremony on the first annual National Security Education Day in Hong Kong. Photo: Vernon Yuen/NurPhoto via Getty Images

A Hong Kong court sentenced a group of the city's most prominent pro-democracy activists to up to 18 months in prison Friday for organizing a massive unauthorized protest in August 2019 that drew an estimated 1.7 million people, AP reports.

Why it matters: Critics say the sentences send the message that even peaceful pro-democracy activism will be severely punished. They mark a continuation of Beijing's overhaul of Hong Kong's political structure, designed to crack down opposition to the Chinese Communist Party.

Local news moves to the inbox

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

A slew of new companies are launching platforms for local newsletters, a shift that could help finally bring the local news industry into the digital era.

Driving the news: Substack, the email publishing platform for independent journalists, on Thursday announced a new local news platform.