The deputy police chief added that Arabs should “learn from their cousins” in the arts of “sophistication and cunning”.

Khalfan’s tweets sparked a massive debate containing hundreds of responses. Some of his followers agreed with his sentiment, pointing to the history of infighting among Arabs or suggesting that the Israeli-Palestinian issue was not the UAE’s problem.

“Accurate diagnosis,” one user wrote. “Of course our fears of Israeli expansion are unjustified. We are not Palestine. Palestine essentially is not a sovereign state. It has no currency, no army, police, president or ministers…It has become clear that it is possible to reach an understanding with the Israelis through diplomatic channels and conclude peace treaties,” another suggested.