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article imageIsrael agrees to full normalization of relations with the UAE

By Ken Hanly     Aug 13, 2020 in Politics
On Thursday, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) made a surprise announcement of a deal with Israel, which includes full normalization of ties. This is the first such agreement that Israel has made since a deal in 1994 with Jordan.
The deal temporarily block any annexation by Israel
As part of the deal, Israel will temporarily put any annexation of occupied West Bank territories on hold. However Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu stressed that this was just a temporary measure: "There is no change to my plan to extend sovereignty, our sovereignty in Judea and Samaria, in full coordination with the United States," Netanyahu said in Jerusalem, using the biblical name for the occupied West Bank. He claimed the annexation would be with US endorsement.
In a tweet Trump praised the agreement: "HUGE breakthrough today! Historic Peace Agreement between our two GREAT friends, Israel and the United Arab Emirates!" Some US officials suggested that Israel had two opportunities peace or annexation and chose peace. However Netanyahu has made it clear that he has not given up his plans for annexation and he will be pressed by the right-wing of his party to carry out annexation.
Netanyahu coalition partner critical of the deal
Naftal Bennet, a coalition partner in the Netanyahu government praised the deal with the UAE but criticized the suspension of annexation of the occupied WestBank. Bennet claimed that Netanyahu lacked the courage to annex the West Bank Settler group and complained that he had betrayed the settlers on annexation.
Bennet said on Thursday
that Netanyahu had missed a historic once-in-a century-opportunity to apply sovereignty to the settlements: “It is tragic that Netanyahu did not grasp the moment nor muster the courage to apply sovereignty to even a centimeter of the Land of Israel."
Palestinian reaction was negative
Palestinian officials pointed out that they had no knowledge of the agreement before it was announced.
A senior Palestinian official told the Jerusalem Post: “Israel has annexed the United Arab Emirates instead of annexing the West Bank. This is a very dangerous development that requires a response not only from the Palestinians but the whole Arab world.”
The agreement is in violation of the 2002 Arab Peace initiative which states that Arab countries would establish normal relations with Israel only in the context of a comprehensive peace agreement and and a full with full Israeli withdrawal from all the territories occupies since 1967.
More about UAE Israel relations, Israel annexation of West Bank, Benjamin netanyahu
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