Israel and the United Arab Emirates have reached a deal to normalise relations, with Israel agreeing to suspend its controversial plans to annex parts of the occupied West Bank.
In a surprise declaration via US President Donald Trump, who helped broker it, the international locations known as the accord “historic” and a breakthrough toward peace. Until now Israel has had no diplomatic members of the family with Gulf Arab countries.
But shared concerns over Iran have led to unofficial contacts between them. Palestinian leaders were reportedly taken by surprise. A spokesman for President Mahmoud Abbas said the deal amounted to “treason”, and the Palestinian ambassador to the UAE was being recalled.
President Trump known as the deal between Prime Minister Netanyahu and Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan “a virtually ancient moment”. It marks solely the 0.33 Israel-Arab peace deal due to the fact Israel’s statement of independence in 1948, after Egypt and Jordan.
“Now that the ice has been broken I expect more Arab and Muslim international locations will follow the United Arab Emirates,” he instructed newshounds in the Oval Office, saying there would be a signing ceremony at the White House in the coming weeks.
Earlier, in response to a President Trump’s tweeted announcement, Mr Netanyahu wrote in Hebrew: “Historic day.”
A foreign policy victory?
In a TV address Mr Netanyahu stated he had “delayed” West Bank annexation plans, however these plans continue to be “on the table”. Annexation would make some West Bank areas formally part of Israel.
“There is no change in my format to apply our sovereignty to Judea and Samaria [West Bank] in full co-ordination with the US. I’m committed to it. That hasn’t changed. I remind you that I used to be the one who put the problem of sovereignty over Judea and Samaria on the table. This problem remains on the table,” he said.
The UAE’s ambassador to the US, Yousef Al Otaiba, stated the deal with Israel was “a win for diplomacy and for the region” , adding: “It is a extensive boost in Arab-Israeli relations that lowers tensions and creates new strength for high quality change”.