5 things you need to know about Israel, UAE diplomatic relations
According to the joint statement, the Israel-UAE agreement will pave the way for a so-called Strategic Middle East Agenda.
Here are 5 things you need to know about the UAE-Israel deal:
- First Gulf state to normalize ties with Israel
With the deal’s announcement, the UAE became the first country in the Gulf to open diplomatic ties with Israel. After Jordan and Egypt, it is also only the third Arab state to normalize such relations.
The joint statement said delegations from Israel and the UAE would “meet in the coming weeks” to sign bilateral agreements on investment, telecom, security, healthcare, culture, the establishment of embassies, tourism, and other areas of “mutual benefit”.
- Alleged ‘delays’ annexation of Palestinian land
As part of the deal between the two states, Israel has allegedly agreed to suspend “declaring sovereignty” over the occupied West Bank.
But Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu said that annexation remains “on the table”.
Netanyahu said that in agreement with Trump he had only “delayed” the plans and would “never give up our rights to our land”.
Meanwhile, the UAE Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Anwar Gargash said peace with Israel had aided the dismantling of a ticking time bomb that was threatening the two-state solution.
- Strategic Middle East Agenda
According to the joint statement, the Israel-UAE agreement will pave the way for a so-called Strategic Middle East Agenda, which will “expand diplomatic, trade, and security cooperation” in the region.
“Along with the US, Israel and the UAE share a similar outlook regarding the threats and opportunities in the region. They shared the commitment to promoting stability via diplomatic engagement, increased economic integration, and closer security coordination,” the document said.
- Access to Islamic sites
According to the Vision for Peace Plan, Muslims would be allowed to visit and pray at the Al-Aqsa Mosque, the third holiest site in Islam, located in a 35-acre compound referred to by the Muslims as الحرم القدسي الشريف or the Noble Sanctuary.
Finally we, Emiratis, will be able to pray at Al Aqsa Mosque 🇦🇪 🇮🇱 🕌 ❤️ pic.twitter.com/0E9c4FfrO6
— حسن سجواني 🇦🇪 Hassan Sajwani (@HSajwanization) August 13, 2020
“All Muslims who come in peace may visit and pray at the Al-Aqsa Mosque, and Jerusalem’s other sacred sites should remain open for peaceful worshippers of all faiths,” said the statement.
The compound is situated in a part of East Jerusalem occupied by Israel in the 1967 Arab-Israeli War (النكسة), a move that has not won international recognition.
- COVID-19 vaccine
Israel and The UAE will “immediately expand and accelerate cooperation regarding the treatment and development of a vaccine for the coronavirus,” the joint statement said.
In June, Netanyahu had said Israel would join forces with the UAE in the battle against the pandemic, despite the lack of diplomatic ties between the two nations.
The same month, the UAE’s state-run news agency, WAM, said two companies from the UAE would work with two Israeli companies on medical projects, including those to combat the novel coronavirus.
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