A Turkish company is bidding to take over Israel’s Haifa port, competing with the United Arab Emirates on the move, sources in Tel Aviv said Friday.
The bid came at a time when Turkey has joined Qatar and Iran in their campaign against the Abraham Accords Peace Agreement that was signed in Washington on August 13 to normalize relations between the UAE and Israel.
The source said that the Yildirim Holding AS, which operates in partnership with an American company based in Istanbul, seeks to join a bid of at least $660 million for Israel’s largest seaport.
The decision came after reports that the Dubai based port operator, DPWorld, has announced it would partner with Israel’s DoverTower in a bid to take over Haifa port.
The port is being privatized with the Israeli government selling 100% of the shares in the Haifa Port Authority (HPC).
Israel decided to open the bid for selling the seaport, after the US has raised concerns about China’s interest in the port sale, and warned that Chinese “information and electronic surveillance systems jeopardize US information and cyber security.”
The Shanghai International Port Group has been interested in the port of Haifa although it has run into the opposition of Israeli longshoremen.
Washington threatened Israel that its American warships would boycott the Haifa port, which is considered a base for the US navy in the Mediterranean Sea. So the Israeli government withdrew from the agreement and began searching for a US company to buy the port or become a partner in the selling operation.