A 39-year-old Israeli donated a kidney to a resident of the United Arab Emirates. The organ was removed Wednesday morning at Sheba Hospital near Tel Aviv and then will be quickly flown to Abu Dhabi. In return, an Israeli in Haifa receives a college from the Emirates. A relative of the patient in Haifa donates a kidney to her 39-year-old mother.
The three-way exchange is part of a larger organ donation program between the two countries, which established diplomatic relations only last year. The flight time between Israel and Abu Dhabi is a good three hours.
Professor Eitan Moore, Head of Transplant Department at Sheba Hospital, spoke on Wednesday of “the beginning of a wonderful collaboration with colleagues from the UAE.” He hopes for future collaborations in other medical fields as well.
Israel signed an agreement to establish diplomatic relations with the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain in Washington in September last year. Previously, only two Arab countries, Egypt and Jordan, had diplomatic relations with Israel.
The two Gulf states have abandoned the decades-old line of Arab states by rejecting ties with Israel until the conflict with the Palestinians is resolved. Israel and the UAE expect economic benefits from their rapprochement, but above all forming an alliance against their archenemy Iran.
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