Israel and the United Arab Emirates reached a historic deal on Thursday that will lead to a full normalization of diplomatic relations between the two Middle Eastern nations in an agreement that United States President Donald Trump helped broker.
Under the agreement, Israel has agreed to suspend applying sovereignty to Palestinian areas of the occupied West Bank that it had been discussing annexing.
The peace deal was the product of lengthy discussions between Israel, the UAE and the United States that accelerated recently, White House officials told the Reuters news agency.
HUGE breakthrough today! Historic Peace Agreement between our two GREAT friends, Israel and the United Arab Emirates!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 13, 2020
The agreement came after a phone call on Thursday between Trump, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Sheikh Mohammed Bin Zayed, crown prince of Abu Dhabi.
The UAE becomes only the third Arab nation to have active ties with Israel and the first Gulf Arab state to do so.
“This historic diplomatic breakthrough will advance peace in the Middle East region and is a testament to the bold diplomacy and vision of the three leaders and the courage of the United Arab Emirates and Israel to chart a new path that will unlock the great potential in the region,” the statement said.
Trump hailed the historic agreement as a first step, speaking to reporters in the Oval Office on Thursday.
“Now that the ice has been broken I expect more Arab and Muslim countries will follow the United Arab Emirates,” he said.
But the move was slammed by senior Palestinean official Hanan Asrawi on twitter.
“Israel got rewarded for not declaring openly what it’s been doing to Palestine illegally & persistently since the beginning of the occupation,” senior Palestinian official Hanan Ashrawi wrote on Twitter. She also said the UAE has come forward with its “secret dealings/normalization with Israel.”
Al Jazeera and news agencies