Following the announcement on Thursday of the peace agreement between Israel and the United Arab Emirates in the United States, interpretations of the Israeli plan to annex Palestinian territories differ. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu assured that his country “had not given up”, contrary to the reading from the Crown Prince in Abu Dhabi.
The United Arab Emirates and Israel will sign a historic agreement in Washington within three weeks aimed at normalizing their relations, which would make Abu Dhabi the third Arab capital just to follow this path since the creation of the Hebrew state.
However, the readings differ on the Israeli plan to annex Palestinian territories. In the eyes of the Emirates, in exchange for this agreement, Israel agreed to “put an end to the continued annexation of the Palestinian territories”. “In a conversation between President Trump and Prime Minister Netanyahu, an agreement was reached to end any further annexation,” said Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al-Nahyan on his behalf. Twitter.
During talks with President Trump and Prime Minister Netanyahu, an agreement was reached to stop further Israeli annexation of Palestinian territories. The United Arab Emirates and Israel also agreed to cooperate and establish a roadmap for establishing a bilateral relationship.
– محمد بن زايد (@MohamedBinZayed) August 13, 2020
But Benjamin Netanyahu did not far from confirm: the annexation of parts of this occupied Palestinian territory “postponed” but Israel “has not given up”. “I brought peace, I will be annexed,” he even explained. “The wording has been chosen with care by the various parties.” “Temporary pause,” it is not definitively ruled out, “said US Ambassador to Israel David Friedman.
Positive step according to Paris
France welcomed the agreed agreement, saying that “the decision taken by the Israeli authorities in this context to suspend the annexation of Palestinian territories is a positive step, which must be a definitive step,” according to French diplomacy chief Jean-Yves Le Drian.
Egypt and Jordan, the only two Arab countries that maintained diplomatic ties with the Jewish state after the peace treaties concluded in 1979 and 1994, respectively, remained measured. Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, whose country is an ally of the Emirates and the United States, soberly welcomed the agreement, saying it would prevent the annexation of parts of the West Bank.
Jordan has neither welcomed nor rejected the agreement, saying its future will depend on Israel’s next actions, which must put an end to “its illegal activities” of occupation of territories, according to Aymane Safadi, Jordan’s diplomatic chief.
A “victory” for diplomacy
The agreement is a “victory” for diplomacy, Emirati’s ambassador to Washington Youssef al-Otaïba commented on Twitter. “This is a step forward for relations between Israel and the Arab countries,” he added, stressing that the agreement “preserves the option of two states (Israeli and Palestinian), defended by the Arab League and the International Community.”
Similarly, UAE Secretary of State Anwar Gargash stressed that the deal paves the way for bipartisan alternatives. “Most countries will see it as a courageous initiative to secure a two-state solution after negotiations,” he told a news conference. He did not want to give an exact date for the opening of embassies between Abu Dhabi and Israel, but said that this would take place “soon”.
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres welcomed the agreement in a statement, saying he hoped it would “create an opportunity for Israeli and Palestinian leaders to resume substantive negotiations, which would lead to a two-state solution in line with UN resolutions.” .
Palestinians oppose the deal
But Mahmoud Abbas’ Palestinian Authority has called the normalization agreement a “repository” and demanded an “emergency meeting” of the Arab League to condemn it. In protest, she also ordered the “immediate” recall of the Palestinian ambassador to Abu Dhabi.
“The Palestinian leadership rejects what the United Arab Emirates has done. This is a storehouse against Jerusalem and the Palestinian cause,” the Palestinian leadership said in a statement calling for an “emergency meeting” from the Arab League to condemn the US-backed project.
Palestinian Hamas also condemned it. This agreement “does not serve the Palestinian cause but is seen as a continuation of the denial of the rights of the Palestinian people,” Hazem Qassem, a spokesman for the Islamist power movement in the Gaza Strip, told AFP.