The exhibition stands of Israeli defence companies Rafael Advanced Defence Systems and Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) were empty at the opening of the weeklong Dubai Airshow on 13 November, as reported by Reuters, amid rising pressure to stop arms sales into Israel.

No explanation has been given for the unmanned stands. Rafael, IAI and the Dubai Airshow did not respond to requests for comment.

On 11 November, Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed-bin Salman convened Arab and Muslim leaders in Riyadh to issue a joint communique condemning “the war crimes and crimes against humanity that Israel is committing” in the Palestinian territories.

Leaders including Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan, Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and Qatar’s Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani called on the International Criminal Court (ICC) to investigate the Israel Defence Forces’ (IDF) actions in Palestine.

Saudi Arabia shifts diplomatic efforts from Israel to Iran

In a move contradicting (US-brokered) attempts to normalise Israel-Saudi relations in September, Bin-Salman affirmed Riyadh’s “condemnation and categorical rejection of this barbaric war against our brothers in Palestine”.

The Crown Prince also demanded an “immediate halt to military operations” in his address at the summit.

The summit marked a seismic shift in Middle Eastern geopolitics. Bin-Salman and Raisi met for the first time since Riyadh and Tehran officially restored relations in April, in talks brokered by Chinese foreign minister Qin Gang.

“We kiss the hands of Hamas for its resistance against Israel”, Raisi said in his address at the summit. A long-time adversary of Israel, Iran has provided Hamas with weapons in the past.

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