UAE court sentences to death Israeli woman caught with cocaine

Ynet learns Fida Kiwan, 43-year-old Haifa resident, was arrested on March 17 of 2021 with half a kilogram of cocaine that she claimed did not belong to her; her Emirati lawyer appeals decision, which will likely be converted to lengthy prison term
Itamar Eichner|
A court in Abu Dhabi has sentenced an Israeli national who was arrested about a year ago in the United Arab Emirates with cocaine, it was revealed Monday.
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  • Ynet has learned Fida Kiwan, 43-year-old Haifa resident, was arrested on March 17 of 2021 with half a kilogram of cocaine, while claiming the illegal substance that was found did not belong to her.
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    פידא כיוואן
    פידא כיוואן
    Dubai and Fida Kiwan
    (Photo: AP)
    The Foreign Ministry said: "The case is known to us and we are handling it through the Israeli Missions Around The World and its representatives in the Emirates."
    Kiwan, who owns a photography studio, is said to have travelled to the UAE for work after being invited by a Palestinian acquaintance. Upon arriving in Dubai, she settled in an apartment arranged for her in advance. A week after her arrival, the UAE authorities conducted a search of the apartment, where a large quantity of drugs was discovered.
    She has since been in the Emirati custody and was sentenced a few days ago. The woman's local lawyer has already appealed the decision. Death sentences in the UAE are not usually enforced, and often converted into lengthy prison terms.
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    מטיילים ב-Global Village בדובאי, נובמבר 2020
    מטיילים ב-Global Village בדובאי, נובמבר 2020
    Global Village in Dubai 2020
    (Photo: Reuters)
    Hundreds of thousands of Israelis have flocked to the UAE since the landmark 2020 Abraham Accords, establishing ties between Israel and the UAE, with nonstop flights from Tel Aviv to Dubai being among the deal's ripest fruits.
    On social media, a trip to the UAE has become a status symbol for Israelis who display photos of themselves in Dubai. A dozen hotels across the city say they’ve booked thousands of Israeli travelers and hosted a range of Israeli business conferences, holiday parties and days-long weddings.
    Even Kosher catering companies from around the world have set up shop in the UAE. Plans are underway to break ground on the country’s first Jewish cemetery and ritual bath known as a mikvah.

    News agencies contributed to this report
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