Oman: Israel silent on Omani move to expand boycott law

By Abdelraouf Arnaout

JERUSALEM (AA): Israel has remained silent on a proposal by Oman’s Shura Council to expand the country’s boycott of Tel Aviv.

On Monday, the Shura Council, Oman’s only legislative body, voted to stiffen its boycott law of Israel.

The drive aims to expand the boycott of Israel to include the fields of sports, culture and economy and to ban both in-person and online interactions with Israelis and with the “Zionist entity,” according to Oman’s WAF news agency.

Article 1 of the Israel Provincial Law issued by Royal Decree No. 72/9 bans any direct or by proxy agreement with authorities or individuals residing in Israel or holding Israeli nationality or working for its interest wherever they reside.

The Assembly Vice President Yaaqoub Al-Harethi said in a statement on Monday that that the amendment will “expand the criminalization and expand the boycott of this entity.”

The proposal rules that the first clause of the law would be amended in a way that broadens the scope of the boycott.

There has been no reaction so far from official Israeli circles on the Omani move.

The Times of Israel newspaper said the stiffening of the boycott law in Oman may tie the Israeli efforts “to secure Omani authorization for [the Israeli] civilian overflights of the country.”

In recent weeks, Israeli media quoted Israeli officials as saying that Muscat may permit Israeli civil planes to use its airspace in their flights heading to Asia.
Israel and Oman have no diplomatic relations. Officials from the two countries, however, held high-level meetings, including a meeting between then Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and late Omani Sultan Qaboos bin Said in 2018 in Oman.

Out of 22 Arab countries, only six countries hold diplomatic ties with Israel — Egypt, Jordan, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Morocco and Sudan.

* Writing by Ahmed Asmar

[Map of Oman by US CIA Factbook/Public Domain

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