The UAE has become the first Gulf Arab country to reach an agreement to normalize relations with Israel, ending years of discreet contacts between the two countries in trade and technology.
The so-called “The Abrahamic Covenant », announced by US President Donald Trump on Thursday, secures an Israeli commitment to halt further annexation of Palestinian lands in the occupied West Bank.
However, addressing reporters later in Tel Aviv, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said he agreed to “postpone” annexation as part of the deal with the UAE, but plans remain “on the table”;.
The UAE is also the third Arab nation to reach such an agreement with Israel, after Jordan and Egypt.
Here is how the various actors in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and other countries reacted to the Israel-UAE agreement:
In a statement issued by his spokesman, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas denied the deal.
“The Palestinian leadership rejects and denounces the UAE tripartite, Israel and the US, surprisingly,” said Nabil Abu Rudeineh, a senior adviser to Abbas.
Abu Rudeineh, reading a statement outside Abbas’s headquarters in Ramallah in the occupied West Bank, said the deal was “a betrayal of Jerusalem, al-Aqsa and the Palestinian cause.”
Hanan Ashrawi, an outspoken member of the executive committee of the Palestine Liberation Organization who has served in various leadership positions in Palestine, said the UAE announcement was the equivalent of “sold” by “friends”.
Never experience the agony of stealing your country; you can never feel the pain of living in captivity under occupation; never witness the destruction of your home or the killing of your loved ones. Never be sold by your “friends”. https://t.co/CBaNl1QQqx
– Hanan Ashrawi (@DrHananAshrawi) 13 August 2020
Hamas rejected the US-brokered deal by establishing formal ties between Israel and the United Arab Emirates in exchange for Israel rejecting its plans to annex West Bank land, saying it did not serve the Palestinian cause.
“This agreement does not serve the Palestinian cause at all, but rather serves the Zionist narrative. This agreement encourages the occupation. [by Israel] “to continue its denial of the rights of our Palestinian people, and even to continue its crimes against our people.” Hamas spokesman Hazem Qassem said in a statement.
“What is required is to support the legitimate struggle of our people against the occupation and not to reach an agreement with this occupier, and any annexation that we will face from a Palestinian confrontation supported by the Arabs and internationally, and not by signing normalization agreements. with them [Israel]. “
Jordan said the UAE-Israel agreement could push back stalled peace negotiations if it manages to push Israel to accept a Palestinian state on land that Israel had occupied in the 1967 Arab-Israeli War.
“If Israel treats it as an incentive to end the occupation … it will move the region towards a just peace,” Foreign Minister Ayman Safadi said in a statement to state media.
Types of Jewish groups
The move angered right-wing Israeli residents who want to annex the West Bank.
Netanyahu said that while he had promised to implement Israeli sovereignty in areas, including Jewish settlements, in the territory the Palestinians are seeking for a future state, he had clarified that he first needed a green light from Washington.
“He deceived us. He has deceived half a million area residents and hundreds of thousands of voters,” said David Elhayani, head of the Yesha Council of Settlers.
Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi , a close ally of the UAE, welcomed the agreement.
“I followed with interest and appreciation the joint statement between the United States, the United Arab Emirates and Israel to stop the Israeli annexation of Palestinian lands and to take steps to bring peace to the Middle East,” al-Sisi said on Twitter.
I followed with great interest and appreciation the joint tripartite statement between the United States, the United Arab Emirates and Israel regarding the agreement to stop the annexation of Israel to the Palestinian territories.
– Abdelfattah Elsisi (@AlsisiOfficial) 13 August 2020
“I appreciate the efforts of those responsible for the agreement to achieve prosperity and stability for our region.”
The Gulf state of Bahrain welcomed the agreement between the UAE and Israel, the state-run BNA news agency said.
The small island state of Bahrain is a close ally of Saudi Arabia, which has not yet commented on the deal.
Bahrain commended the Untied States for its efforts to secure the agreement.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson welcomed the agreement between Israel and the United Arab Emirates.
“The decision of the UAE and Israel to normalize relations is extremely good news,” Johnson said on Twitter.
“It was my deep hope that the annexation would not move forward in the West Bank, and today ‘s agreement to suspend those plans is a welcome step on the road to a more peaceful Middle East.”
Iran’s Tasnim news agency, which is affiliated with the elite troops of the country’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), said the agreement between Israel and the UAE to normalize ties was “shameful”.
Iran’s religious leaders have yet to react to the deal.
The agreement between Israel and the United Arab Emirates will not ensure peace in the region, tweeted a special adviser on international affairs to the speaker of the Iranian parliament.
“The UAE’s new approach to normalizing fake, fake ties, #Israel does not maintain peace and security, but serves the continued crimes of the Zionists,” tweeted Hossein Amir-Abdollahian, a former deputy minister. external.
“Abu Dhabi’s behavior has no justification, going back to the cause of Palestine. W / that strategic mistake, #UAE will be involved in the fire of Zionism.”
The UAE’s new approach to normalizing fake, fake ties, #Israel does not maintain peace and security, but serves the ongoing crimes of the Zionists. Abu Dhabi’s behavior has no justification, going back to the cause of Palestine. W / that strategic mistake, #UAE will be involved in the fire of Zionism. pic.twitter.com/NDNy94laa8
– H.amirabdollahian (@Amirabdolahian) 13 August 2020
In a statement, Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden said: “The UAE offer to publicly recognize the State of Israel is a welcome, courageous and necessary action for a good state … An administration “Biden-Harris will seek to build on this progress, and will challenge all the nations of the region to keep pace.”
Biden also addressed the annexation: “The annexation would be a blow to the body for the cause of peace, that is why I oppose it now and I would oppose it as president,” he said.
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has welcomed “any initiative that can promote peace and security in the Middle East region,” a UN spokesman said.
Lisa Goldman, co-founder of 972Mag, a news and commentary site focused on Israel and Palestine, said “Netanyahu never considered annexing the West Bank, but the UAE is” claiming a diplomatic victory in exchange for what might “It’s very, very valuable security cooperation from Israel. All at the expense of the Palestinians, as usual.”
Netanyahu has never considered annexing W Bank. But here we are, with the UAE claiming a diplomatic victory in exchange for what is probably a very valuable security cooperation from Israel. All on the backs of the Palestinians, as usual. https://t.co/bpGp4B81JS
– Lisa Goldman (@lisang) August 13, 2020
The move also hit some Palestinians as uncritical and insulting to the hundreds of thousands of Palestinians living in the UAE.
Mohamed Hemish, who works in communications at al-Shabaka, the main Palestinian policy network, headed the UAE for his treatment of Palestinians who moved to the UAE after the creation of the state of Israel in 1948, which moved more than 700,000 Palestinians, and the ensuing wars that displaced the most.
OK … so what hundreds of thousands of Palestinians living in the UAE have donated blood and sweat for the building they deserve: an announcement by a far-right US president of a normalization deal with an extreme government of Israeli right. pic.twitter.com/Wpn0xL8WLD
– Mohamed Hemish (@MohamedHemish) 13 August 2020
The left-wing advocacy group J Street welcomed reports that Israel is suspending plans to annex parts of the West Bank and that the UAE and Israel are taking steps to establish more normalized ties.
“Clarification will be needed that this is not just a short-term suspension of a destructive idea, and the United States and the international community should demand that Israel be permanently committed to not pursuing any unilateral annexation,” the group said in a statement. statement.
“The agreement between Israel and the UAE to move towards fully normalized ties is also welcome news for all those who want to see a stable and prosperous Israel living in peace and security together with all its neighbors. its regional, “the statement said. “It’s just the last proof that dialogue and diplomacy, rather than unilateral action and fire, are the way to long-term security.”