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An Israeli woman has been sentenced to death in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) after she was found guilty of possessing drugs, according to reports.
The woman, named by the Times of Israel as Fidaa Kiwan, is said to have been arrested in March 2021 shortly after arriving in the country.
Police allegedly found more than half a kilo of cocaine during a search of the 43-year-old’s apartment. However, Kiwan has claimed the drugs did not belong to her, with her legal team planning to launch an appeal.
The Israeli Foreign Ministry said it is ‘handling’ the situation, although it has yet to share a longer statement.
UNILAD has contacted both the Israeli Foreign Ministry and the UAE government for comment.
According to Times of Israel, Kiwan is a Haifa resident and owns a photography studio. She arrived in Dubai last year after being ‘invited to work by a Palestinian acquaintance’.
The news comes a year after police arrested a group of women who stripped naked to pose on a balcony in Dubai.
Footage shared on Twitter last April showed a group of women on the balcony of a penthouse apartment on the Dubai Marina.
The UAE has strict laws on social media and anything classed as 'lewd' can be punishable by a fine or custodial sentence.
A police statement shared at the time read: "A criminal case has been registered against the arrested, and they have been referred to Public Prosecution for further legal action.
"Dubai Police warns against such unacceptable behaviours, which do not reflect the values and ethics of Emirati society."
After being arrested and held in prison, model Yulia Ulyanochkina, then 19, told Russia’s Mash media last year: “The period of uncertainty was the most difficult, when you sit and do not know whether you will be given six months or released."
"I was put on a dirty mattress. I got hysterical. The girls came one by one," she added.
"Only then did we realise that we were deprived of our freedom. It was scary.
"The cells were just awful.
"There were a lot of prisoners, the air was humid, there was fungus in the toilets and a lot of hair.
"There was always a bright light in the cells, and no windows.
"We didn't know what time it was. There were no simple means of hygiene."
The women were subsequently banned from travelling to the Gulf for five years.
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