DUBAI - Israel’s communications minister called for “peace and security” on Tuesday during a visit to the United Arab Emirates, as his country launches an unprecedented diplomatic push into Gulf states.

“Peace and security in every state... with economic and scientific progress is what guarantees a future for the coming generations,” Ayoub Kara said at a telecommunications conference in Dubai. Kara’s statement comes amid a diplomatic push by Israel in the mainly Sunni Gulf, which Israel sees as an ally against Shiite power Iran.

It follows visits by Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to Oman on Thursday and Culture Minister Miri Regev to Abu Dhabi at the weekend. Neither Oman nor the UAE has diplomatic ties with Israel. Normalising ties with Israel - or recognising it as a state - remains the most controversial policy debate in the Arab world, which largely boycotts Israel over its occupation of Palestinian territory.

Regev, known for controversial comments about Arabs, on Sunday toured the famed Sheikh Zayed mosque in Abu Dhabi - wearing a red full-length abaya and white headscarf and speaking to the camera in Hebrew.

“This is the first time that an Israeli minister is here on a visit,” Regev said, surrounded by a group of people in traditional Emirati dress.

Regev is a member of Netanyahu’s right-wing Likud party.

Israel’s national anthem was also played at a judo tournament in Abu Dhabi on Sunday after one of its athletes won gold - believed to be the first time the anthem has been played publicly in an Arab Gulf state.

Netanyahu has long sought a rapprochement with Arab states, citing in part concerns over their common enemy Iran. Jordan and Egypt are the only two Arab states to have full diplomatic relations with Israel.

The Palestinian Central Council, a body of the Palestine Liberation Organisation, on Monday authorised the PLO to suspend recognition of Israel and stop security coordination with the Jewish state.

Palestinian authorities have accused Israel of excessive force after an air strike killed three teenagers on the Gaza border on Sunday. Another Palestinian was shot dead by Israeli fire in Gaza border clashes on Monday.

Kara was speaking at the International Telecommunication Union Plenipotentiary Conference in Dubai on Tuesday.

Meanwhile, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has said he welcomes mediation from the United Nations and Egypt to prevent a humanitarian collapse in the Gaza Strip, Israeli media reported Tuesday.

Netanyahu made the comments in a briefing to local journalists on Monday, various Israeli newspapers reported.

Egypt and UN officials have been seeking a long-term truce between Israel and Islamist movement Hamas, which runs the Gaza Strip, with Qatar providing humanitarian assistance.

Security sources in Gaza said a 13-member Egyptian delegation was in the strip on Tuesday to meet with Hamas officials, the latest in a series of such visits.

Months of unrest along the Gaza border have led to fears of a fourth war since 2008 between Israel and Palestinian militants in the blockaded enclave.

“We are working to prevent forces getting into Israel to harm our soldiers and communities,” Netanyahu said, quoted by Haaretz newspaper.

“On the other hand, we’re working to prevent a humanitarian crisis, which is why we’re willing to accept the UN and Egyptian mediation efforts to achieve quiet and fix the electricity situation.”

Israeli officials rarely comment publicly on the efforts by Egypt and others to restore calm and ease humanitarian conditions in Gaza.

The Gaza Strip faces a severe electricity shortage, high unemployment and lack of clean water, among other humanitarian concerns.

Netanyahu has faced criticism from some who have called for a large-scale Israeli military operation in the Palestinian enclave in response to the unrest.

But such an operation would have unpredictable results at a time when Israeli elections are expected to be called in the coming months.

At least 218 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli fire in demonstrations and clashes along the Gaza border that began on March 30.

One Israeli soldier has been killed along the frontier in that time.

Israel says its actions are necessary to defend the border and stop infiltrations and attacks, which it accuses Hamas of seeking to orchestrate.

Palestinians and rights groups say protesters have been shot while posing little threat.

There have also been several military flare-ups.

In the latest on Friday and into Saturday, Palestinian militants fired dozens of rockets into southern Israel, which responded with extensive air strikes.

The violence came to an end after Islamic Jihad, the Palestinian militant group that launched the rockets, said it had agreed to an Egyptian-brokered truce.