Israel: Under Donald Trump's leadership, country signs
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Denys Bédarride
Monday 17 August 2020 Last update on Monday, August 17, 2020 At 9:36 AM

Israel would agree to stop annexation of Palestinian territories, says Abu Dhabi, calls deal a victory for diplomacy

It is a "spectacular breakthrough", commented Donald Trump, calling this normalization "a historic peace agreement between our two great friends".

Israel has agreed to suspend plans for annexation of the West Bank in exchange for normalizing relations with the United Arab Emirates, according to a joint statement from Israel, the United Arab Emirates and the United States issued by US President Donald Trump .

In recent years, Israel has developed informal cooperation with regional economies such as Bahrain, the Emirates and Saudi Arabia with which it seeks to normalize its relations.

The mayor of the Beit El settlement, Shai Alon, accused Netanyahu of selling his movement. But Oded Revivi, mayor of the Efrat settlement, says the suspension of annexation is an “appropriate price” for normalizing ties, while allowing for a change in the way settlements are viewed.

Rather, for Netanyahu, it is normalization with Arab countries that will push the Palestinians to a peace deal with Israel.
“The Israeli and world left has always said that we cannot make a peace agreement with the Arab countries without peace with the Palestinians (…) For the first time in history, Benjamin Netanyahu has broken this paradigm”, said his party, Likud.

US President Donald Trump presented his Middle East peace project last January, which included Israel’s annexation of parts of the West Bank. And the Israeli unity government had begun to consider how to implement this project, with part of the political class fearing that annexation without prior talks with the Palestinians could lead to more violence.
The announcement of normalization with the United Arab Emirates makes it possible “to avoid” a “unilateral annexation”, commented on Twitter the chief of the Israeli diplomacy Gabi Ashkenazi, member of the centrist Blue and White party.

The deal is a “victory” for diplomacy, commented UAE Ambassador to Washington Youssef al-Otaïba on Twitter. “This is a step forward for relations between Israel and the Arab countries”, he added, stressing that the agreement “preserves the option of two states (Israeli and Palestinian), defended by the Arab League and the International community “.
Defense Minister Benny Gantz also praised the deal, calling on other Middle Eastern countries to follow suit. “This agreement demonstrates the alliance between countries in the region interested in regional prosperity and stability, and it underscores Israel’s eternal ambition for peace with its neighbors. ” did he declare.

“Today a new era begins in relations between Israel and the Arab world,” said Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
UAE Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Zayed confirms that Israel has agreed to suspend annexation plans, but says the countries have only agreed to work to normalize relations.
The United Arab Emirates said on Thursday that the deal was a “bold step” that will achieve a “two-state solution” for the Palestinian people.

“Yom histori” (“historic day”), wrote in Hebrew on Twitter Netanyahu commenting on the statement of the US president on a normalization of relations between the Emirates and Israel, which was also part of his peace project for the Middle -East.

The head of American diplomacy, Mike Pompeo, spoke of a “historic day” and a “decisive step towards peace in the Middle East”.
“Blessed are the peacemakers. Mabrouk and Mazel Tov ”, concluded Mike Pompeo, using the traditional formula used to present his congratulations in Arabic and Hebrew.

In contrast to congratulations, Hamas believes that this normalization of relations between Israel and the United Arab Emirates “does not serve the Palestinian cause” and constitutes a “blank check” for the continued occupation. “This agreement is rejected and condemned and is seen as a continuation of the denial of the rights of the Palestinian people,” Hamas spokesman Hazem Qasem told AFP.

Source: Times of Israel