Israel stops annexation of the West Bank in exchange for peace with the United Arab Emirates

The “deal of the century” announced yesterday by Donald Trump has not brought peace between Israelis and Palestinians, but the US president surprised the world by announcing another “historic peace deal”, this time between Israel and the United Arab Emirates (UAE). “Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed, Supreme Deputy Commander of the United Arab Emirates, spoke today (yesterday) and agreed to the complete normalization of relations between Israel and the United Arab Emirates,” the text of a pact includes The first consequence of which is that the Jewish state halts, for the moment, its plan to annex the West Bank.

In Israel, the news was welcomed in the hope that it would be the first step towards new agreements with other Arab countries, but the Palestinians rejected normalization, calling the pact a “stab in the back.” In the general picture of the Middle East, it represents a step forward in the anti-Iran axis led by Trump, which is marked somewhat diplomatic with three months to go before the US elections where the polls do not leave him in a good place. In fact, the president took advantage of the announcement to advance that “if I win the elections I will have an agreement with Iran in 30 days.”

If the agreed roadmap goes ahead, the Emirates will be the third Arab country to normalize its relations after Egypt (1979) and Jordan (1984) and will open the doors of the Persian Gulf to Israel. The US Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, compared this day precisely with those that marked the agreements with Egyptians and Jordanians and said that he hopes it is “the promise of a better future for the region.”

Domestic speeches

The Israeli issue is very sensitive in the Arab world and the Emirati authorities announced it in their media as “an agreement to stop the annexation of Palestinian territories”, in exchange for “cooperation to establish bilateral relations”, according to messages on Twitter from the Prince Mohamed. Foreign Minister Anwar Gargash also made a reading in Palestinian code and considered this decision as “a courageous step to reach a two-state solution, allowing time for negotiations.” Stopping annexation, however, does not mean the end of settlement expansion, which is why the Palestinians decided to suspend dialogue with Israel.


In favor – Sum of wills:

After Egypt (1979) and Jordan (1984), the Emirates will be the third Arab country to normalize its relations with Israel, to which it opens the doors of the Persian Gulf.


“It is the promise of a better future for the region,” according to US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.


“This is an opening for peace in the region,” says Netanyahu.

Against – Treason:

The Palestinians consider the pact to be “a betrayal” and a “stab in the back”.


The Islamist movement says it represents a “blank check” to go ahead with “the Israeli occupation” and the “denial of the rights of the Palestinian people.”

The issue of annexation is also sensitive in Israel and that is why Netanyahu offered a more tempered speech domestically. In the Hebrew version of the communiqué of the agreement, the prime minister winked at settlers and ultranationalist Jews, who were anxiously awaiting annexation and called him a “traitor” after learning of the pact, and told them that “everything will come in due course.” . The same message that he transmitted in his televised speech to the nation in which he spoke of a “temporary suspension” of annexation. This decision gives the politician something in the face of the international community and Trump, but it supposes the fierce criticism of this sector of the population that has increasing weight in the Israel of the 21st century. Settler leader Naftali Bennet lamented that Israel misses “the opportunity of the century.”

Trump’s son-in-law and adviser to the Middle East, Jared Kushner, also offered his reading of the facts and expressed his hope that “once the Israelis are not going to take the provocative step of annexation, the Palestinians return to the table of negotiation”.

For Netanyahu, as for Trump, it is “historic” and for his Foreign Minister, Gabi Azkhenazi, it is the key that will offer “opportunities for future deals.” Relations with the Emirates were very close and this agreement makes official a normalization that was unofficial, a situation similar to that experienced with other countries such as Saudi Arabia, Oman and Bahrain. On the other side of this Persian Gulf, in Iran, the Tasnim agency, linked to the Guardians of the Revolution, described the situation as “shameful”.

“Doesn’t help the cause”

The columnist for the daily ‘Haaretz’, Anshel Pfeffer, pointed out that “for thirty years the Israeli left and the international community have repeated that Israel would only have relations with the Arab world only if it recognized the Palestinian state. The Arab world has shown them that this is not the case.


Benjamin Netanyahu – Prime Minister of Israel.

“It is a complete agreement, with exchanges of ambassadors and of a commercial nature. Emirates is going to invest large sums »

Donald Trump – President of EE UU.

“If I win the elections, I will have a pact with Iran in thirty days”

Although the Emirates sell the agreement as a step forward for the Palestinians, it is clear that they did not consult with the Ramallah authorities before sealing it. “The UAE has exposed its secret-normalization deals with Israel. Please don’t do us a favor. We are not anyone’s fig leaf, ”wrote Hanan Ashrawi, a member of the Executive Committee of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), on social media. The Palestinian authorities accused the Emirates of “treason” and asked the rest of the Arab countries not to follow in their footsteps.

Hazem Qasem, a Hamas spokesman, told AFP that “we reject and condemn this agreement. It does not help the Palestinian cause but is seen as the continuation of the denial of the rights of the Palestinian people. The Islamists, together with the Islamic Jihad, used the expression “stab in the back” to describe the step taken by the Emirates. Egyptian President Abdel Fatah Al Sisi, however, welcomed the pact, which “represents another step for regional stability and prosperity.”


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