The United States, United Arab Emirates (UAE), Bahrain and Israel signed the Abraham Agreements on Tuesday for the normalization of relations between the two Arab countries and Israel. In this way, they break the traditional Arab boycott that has been weighing on Israel for more than seven decades. Until now only Egypt (1979) and Jordan (1994) had established relations with Israel.
The signing of the so-called Abraham Accords has been attended by the Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, the UAE Foreign Minister Abdullah bin Zayed al Nahyan, and the Foreign Minister of Bahrain, Abdulatif bin Rashid al Zayani, in addition to President Trump as mediator.
The president of the United States, Donald Trump, has assured shortly before the signing that “five more countries” will soon establish diplomatic relations with Israel. “We have many nations prepared to follow” in the footsteps of the Emirates and Bahrain and normalize their ties with Israel, Trump said during a bilateral meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. “We are very advanced (to close these agreements) with five more countries,” added the president without specifying which ones.
Before signing the accords, Netanyahu assured that “peace will be extended to include other Arab states and will end the Arab-Israeli conflict.” He has also thanked Trump for his “decisive leadership” in having “successfully negotiated today’s historic peace.”
“Today’s agreement is an important first step and it is now up to us” to pursue a peace agreement between Palestine and Israel, the Bahrain foreign minister said. In addition, he described the agreement as “historic” and “a moment of hope and opportunity for all the peoples of the Middle East.”
UAE Foreign Minister Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan has stated that “the role of the United States in the Middle East is positive. And this belief is evidenced in today’s agreement.” “As for us, in the United Arab Emirates, this agreement will allow us to continue to support the Palestinian people and realize their hopes of an independent state within a stable and prosperous region,” he added.
“We are here this afternoon to change the course of history. After decades of division and conflict, we mark the dawn of a new Middle East,” Trump said during the signing ceremony.
The Palestinian leadership has categorically condemned Israel’s formalization of ties with the Emirates and Bahrain. Several groups of Palestinians have staged minor protests in the West Bank and Gaza on Tuesday against the agreements to normalize relations.
Hundreds of people have marched through the center of the West Bank town of Ramallah with Palestinian flags and have denounced the establishment of ties between Israel and these two monarchies of the Persian Gulf, a step they consider a “betrayal” of their cause and a blow to the solidarity between Arab countries.
The protests have been called by the leadership and the main Palestinian factions. They have also been registered in other cities in the West Bank such as Nablus, Jenin, Tulkarem or Hebron, according to the official Wafa news agency, and none of them have managed to gather large numbers of people. There have also been three concentrations in Gaza, but very small due to the confinement under which the territory is due to coronavirus.