09 Sep Agreement En Arab
Hundreds of people gathered on the sun-drenched South Lawn to witness the signing of agreements in a festive atmosphere little marked by the coronavirus pandemic. Participants did not practice social distancing and most guests did not wear masks. Foreign Minister Gabi Ashkenazi said the agreement would pave the way for peace agreements with other nations and welcomed the suspension of unilateral annexation. Yesh Atid Chairman Yair Lapid hailed the deal as an “important step” for normalization with the UAE and said it showed that mutual agreements are the way forward for Israel`s relations with other nations rather than unilateral measures like annexation. Israeli Labor Party leader Amir Peretz also shared his views and said Israel`s development and security smile in such deals. He hoped for a similar deal with the Palestinians.  If the pact were respected, the UAE would be only the third Arab country to maintain normal diplomatic relations with Israel, with Egypt, which signed a peace agreement in 1979, and Jordan, which signed a treaty in 1994. It could rearrange the long stalemate in the region and perhaps cause other Arab nations to follow suit and forge an increasingly explicit alliance with Israel against their common enemy in Iran, while relegating Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu`s explosive annexation plan, at least for now. But the deal triggered an immediate reaction in the region from opposites on the ideological spectrum.
At least some Israeli settlers and their political allies were disappointed that Netanyahu would abandon his plan to claim sovereignty over West Bank territory, while Palestinians felt abandoned by an Arab nation, so they should remain locked into an untenable status quo, even without the threat of annexation. Malaysia said the agreement was a sovereign right of the UAE, but would continue to support Israel`s withdrawal from the Palestinian territories.  The Philippine Department of State issued a statement in which it welcomed the agreement and hoped it would contribute to peace and security in the Middle East.  Israel and the United States hope that the agreements can initiate a major change in the region if other Arab nations, especially Saudi Arabia, follow suit. This could have repercussions for Iran, Syria and Lebanon. Until now, Israel had peace agreements only with Egypt and Jordan. Oman`s government has publicly supported the deal (which it called “historic”).  Oman`s Grand Mufti, Ahmed bin Hamad al-Khalili, indirectly criticized the treaty.  Iraqi government spokesman Ahmed Mulla Talal said that Iraq would not interfere in the sovereign affairs of other countries, but that its laws did not normalize relations with Israel.  The bilateral agreements formalize the normalization of Israel`s already thawed relations with the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain, in line with their common opposition to Iran.
But the agreements do not address decades of conflict between Israel and the Palestinians, who see the pacts as a stab by their fellow Arabs and a betrayal of their cause for a Palestinian state.