Commending the UAE for “removing the blockages,” Israeli Communications Minister Yoaz Handel issued a statement on Sunday saying: “Many economic opportunities will open up now, and these confidence-building steps are an important step. towards the promotion of the interests of States. ”
Associated Press reporters in Jerusalem and Dubai were able to call each other from landlines and mobile phones registered with the Israel country code +972 starting at around 1:15 p.m.Also on Sunday, Israeli news sites that had previously been blocked by UAE authorities, such as the Times of Israel, the Jerusalem Post and YNet, were accessible without using any means to bypass Internet filtering in the Emirates.
In the United Arab Emirates, a federation of seven sheikhs in the Arabian Peninsula, a recorded message in Arabic and English was usually broadcast before Sunday stating that calls to +972 numbers could not be connected. The advent of internet calling allowed people to bypass the ban, even though it was often interrupted.
Some in Israel were using Palestinian cell phones with +970 numbers, which those in the UAE could call.
The connection of the telephone service represents the first concrete sign of the agreement between the Emiratis and the Israelis.
Israel and the United Arab Emirates announced Thursday that they are establishing full diplomatic relations under the deal brokered by the United States.
The landmark deal offered a foreign policy victory for President Donald Trump as he sought re-election and reflected a changing Middle East in which shared concerns about Iran, the nemesis, have far exceeded the traditional Arab support for Palestinians.
The Palestinians say this puts a just resolution of the Middle East conflict even further out of reach by undermining an Arab consensus that recognition of Israel comes only in exchange for concessions in peace talks. This removes a rare source of influence for Palestinians.
The deal will make the United Arab Emirates the third Arab country, after Egypt and Jordan, to have full and active diplomatic relations with Israel. The United Arab Emirates and Israel announced in a joint statement, saying that agreements between the two countries are expected in the coming weeks in areas such as tourism, direct flights and embassies.
Early Sunday, the official UAE news agency WAM reported that an Emirati company had signed an agreement with an Israeli company to research and study the coronavirus pandemic.
The move has aroused the ire of some who see it as a betrayal of long-standing efforts to establish an independent Palestinian state. In Pakistan, hundreds of Islamists gathered on Sunday to denounce the UAE-Israel deal. The Jamaat-e-Islami party chanted slogans against the United States and burned effigies of Trump. They also set American and Israeli flags on fire.
The deal has also angered Iran and Turkey, regional rivals of the UAE.
On Sunday, the Iranian armed forces chief of staff called the UAE’s decision a “disaster.” Mohammad Hossein Bagheri urged Abu Dhabi to “revise” its position.
“If an incident occurs in the Persian Gulf and violates the national security of the Islamic Republic of Iran, even a tiny bit, and we see it from the UAE, we will not tolerate it,” Bagheri said.