WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW:
- Israel signs the normalization ties with the UAE and Bahrain in a ceremony at the White House on Tuesday.
- Known as the Abraham Accords, the new deal were signed by the foreign ministers of the three countries.
- The signing makes UAE and Bahrain the third and fourth Arab states to normalize relations since Israel signed two peace treaties in 1979 and 1994.
President Donald Trump hosted a White House ceremony Tuesday where the UAE and Bahrain signed deals with Israel to normalize ties even without reaching a resolution of Israel’s decades-long dispute with the Palestinians.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu signed the agreements known as Abraham Accords, with Emirati Foreign Minister Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed al-Nahyan and Abdullatif Al Zayani, Bahrain’s foreign minister, during the ceremony.
This event would make the UAE and Bahrain the third and fourth Arab states to take steps in normalizing relations since Israel signed peace treaties with Egypt in 1979 and Jordan in 1994.
“Instead of focusing on past conflicts, people are now focused on creating a vibrant future filled with endless possibilities,” said White House senior adviser Jared Kushner in a statement on Monday.
The back-to-back agreements will also prevent Israel’s claim of sovereignty over areas included in Trump’s Mideast peace initiative.
While the signing of the accords may mean a diplomatic win for Trump, the move sparked protests among the Palestinians who denounced the deal.
“This day will be added to the calendar of Palestinian pain and the record of Arab fractures,” said Palestinian Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh on Twitter adding that the agreement will destroy the unity between Arab states.
Meanwhile, critics warn the new pacts may threaten the 2002 Arab Peace Initiative which called for normalization ties between Arab states and Israel provided Israeli forces in the West Bank, East Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip will be extracted.
“Peace which does not include the realization of the rights of all Palestinians will be one without justice,” said Shawan Jabarin, general director of the independent Palestinian human rights organization Al-Haq.
Nevertheless, Yossi Mekelberg, professor of international relations at Regent’s University in London, told NBC News that the move will help boost trade, tourism and diplomacy in the region.
“It’s an historic moment and we shouldn’t underestimate how important it is,” he said adding the deal could be utilized by the Gulf states to prompt Israel to take on future negotiations with the Palestinians, who have rejected the Middle East peace plan of the Trump administration.