Israel and the United Arab Emirates have announced they are establishing full diplomatic relations under a deal brokered by US President Donald Trump.
A joint statement released Thursday by the United States, Israel and the United Arab Emirates said the agreement “would advance peace in the Middle East region and testify to the bold diplomacy and vision” of the leaders of the three country.
Trump tweeted the joint statement and later told reporters at the White House that it was “a truly historic moment.”
But a spokesperson for Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said the deal amounted to “betrayal” and should be rescinded.
Joint statement by the United States, the State of Israel and the United Arab Emirates pic.twitter.com/oVyjLxf0jd
– Donald J.Trump (@realDonaldTrump) 13 août 2020
Here are five things you need to know about the UAE-Israel deal:
1. First Gulf state to normalize relations with Israel
With the announcement of the deal, the UAE becomes the first Gulf country to open diplomatic relations with Israel. After Egypt and Jordan, it is also only the third Arab state to normalize such ties.
The joint statement said that the delegations of the United Arab Emirates and Israel “will meet in the coming weeks” to sign bilateral agreements on investment, tourism, telecommunications, security, health, culture, creation of embassies and other areas of “mutual interest”.
2. “Delays” the annexation of Palestinian land
As part of the agreement between the two nations, Israel agreed to suspend ” declaring sovereignty “over the occupied West Bank, according to a White House statement.
But Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu later said he had agreed to delay annexation plans under the UAE normalization deal, but they remained “on the table.”
Netanyahu said that in agreement with Trump, he had only “delayed” the plans and that he “would never give up our rights to our land.”
Earlier this year, Netanyahu announced he would annex a third of the already illegally occupied West Bank – including parts of the strategic Jordan Valley – in line with Trump’s allegedly controversial vision of Trump’s peace plan for the Israelis and Palestinians .
Meanwhile, UAE Foreign Minister Anwar Gargash, in an interview with Sky News Arabia on Thursday, said peace with Israel helped dismantle a time bomb that threatened the solution. two-state.
3. Strategic Agenda for the Middle East
The Israel-UAE deal will also pave the way for a so-called Strategic Agenda for the Middle East, according to the joint statement, which “ expand diplomatic, commercial and security cooperation “in the region.
“With the United States, Israel and the United Arab Emirates share a similar vision of threats and opportunities in the region, as well as a common commitment to promote stability through diplomatic engagement, increased economic integration and closer coordination. security, ”the document says.
4. Access to Muslim sites
The statement also said that according to the Vision for Peace plan, Muslims would be allowed to visit and pray at Al-Aqsa Mosque, Islam’s third holiest site, located in a 35-acre complex called by Muslims al-Haram al-Sharif or the Noble Sanctuary.
“All Muslims who come in peace can visit and pray at the Al-Aqsa Mosque, and other holy places in Jerusalem should remain open to peaceful worshipers of all faiths,” the statement said.
The complex is located in a part of East Jerusalem occupied by Israel in the Six Day War of 1967, a movement that did not gain international recognition.
5. Coronavirus vaccine
Israel and the United Arab Emirates ” immediately expand and accelerate cooperation regarding the treatment and development of a vaccine against the coronavirus, ”the joint statement said.
In June, Netanyahu said Israel would join forces with the United Arab Emirates in the fight against the pandemic, despite the lack of diplomatic relations between the two countries.
In the same month, the UAE’s official news agency WAM said two Gulf nation companies would work with two Israeli companies on medical projects, including those to fight the novel coronavirus.