Israel and the United Arab Emirates have reached a deal to normalize relations, with Israel agreeing to suspend its controversial plans to annex parts of the occupied West Bank, writes BBC.
In a surprise statement by Donald Trump, who helped broker it, the countries called the accord “historic” and a breakthrough toward peace. Until now Israel has had no diplomatic relations with Gulf Arab countries. But shared worries over Iran have led to unofficial contacts between them.
Palestinian leaders were reportedly taken by surprise. A spokesman for President Mahmoud Abbas said the deal amounted to “treason”, and the Palestinian ambassador to the UAE was being recalled.
President Trump called the deal between Prime Minister Netanyahu and Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan “a truly historic moment”. It marks only the third Israel-Arab peace deal since Israel"s declaration of independence in 1948, after Egypt and Jordan.
“Now that the ice has been broken I expect more Arab and Muslim countries will follow the United Arab Emirates”, - he told reporters, saying there would be a signing ceremony at the White House in the coming weeks.
Earlier, in response to a President Trump’s tweeted announcement, Netanyahu wrote in Hebrew: “Historic day”.