In a statement, the Israeli Foreign Ministry said: “The matter is known and we are handling it through the consular service and our representatives in the Emirates.” It declined to comment further.
Israeli media reported that Kiwan, who owns a photography studio in Haifa in northern Israel, came to Dubai to work about a year ago. She was arrested a week later after police found the cocaine in the apartment she lived in. Kiwan allegedly claimed the drugs were not hers.
CNN has contacted the UAE’s State Department for comment.
Death sentences are rarely carried out in the UAE. Ziv Agmon, an Israeli lawyer specializing in emirate law who is not involved in this case, told CNN that he expected the courts of the United Arab Emirates to reshuffle the verdict. He added that there is no formal repatriation agreement between the UAE and Israel.
The establishment of diplomatic relations between Israel and the UAE, as part of the Abrahamic Agreement signed in 2020, has led to an increase in the number of Israeli visitors to the UAE. Not all of them have been tourists and business people. “Our office in Dubai noticed an increase in criminal cases of which Israeli citizens are a part,” Agmon said. “Israelis need to understand that the judicial authorities in Dubai are taking drug cases seriously.”