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Abraham Accord and Trump’s Middle East achievement

In what President Trump labels a “historic diplomatic breakthrough,” Israel and the United Arab Emirates have agreed to “full normalization of relations,” and Israel says it will “suspend” plans to annex the West Bank. Trump announced the deal Thursday, calling it “a significant step towards building a more peaceful, secure, and prosperous Middle East.” The agreement, known as the Abraham Accord, could signal similar pacts in the future.
“We are already discussing this with other nations,” Trump says, “so you will probably see others of these… now that the ice has been broken.” The UAE follows Egypt and Jordan in opening relations with Israel, though the UAE is the first to “normalize” relations.

Negotiating peace in the Middle East
The peace deal was the product of months of discussions between Israel, the UAE, and the U.S., White House officials said. Just a few months ago it seemed that Israel and the UAE were on the brink of war.
In January United Arab Emirates Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Anwar Gargash was warning that any unilateral move by Israel to annex parts of the occupied West Bank would be a serious setback for the Middle East peace process. And Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was insisting on extending Israeli sovereignty to territory Palestinians want for their own state.
In June Prime Minister Netanyahu announced that Israel and the UAE had agreed to cooperate in the fight against COVID-19. But the UAE was quick to point out that the COVID-19 cooperation was signed between private companies, not the two governments.

Terms of the Abraham Accord
Israel agreed in the joint statement that it will halt claims of sovereignty to specified areas of the West Bank. These are areas that Israel has talked aggressively about annexing.
“This historic diplomatic breakthrough will advance peace in the Middle East region and is a testament to the bold diplomacy and vision of the three leaders and the courage of the United Arab Emirates and Israel to chart a new path that will unlock the great potential in the region,” the statement said.
Delegations from Israel and the UAE will continue meeting in the next few weeks to sign a series of bilateral agreements regarding investment, tourism, direct flights, security, telecommunications, and other issues.
The parties finalized the terms in a phone call between Trump, Netanyahu, and Sheikh Mohammed Bin Zayed, crown prince of Abu Dhabi on Thursday.
The White House credits Trump senior adviser Jared Kushner, U.S. Ambassador to Israel David Friedman, and Middle East envoy Avi Berkowitz with negotiating the deal. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and White House national security adviser Robert O’Brien were also involved in negotiations.

Will Deal ‘pave the way for peace’?
Former Israeli politician Einat Wilf, a Zionist and atheist, tweets: “Israel has had peace agreements with Egypt and Jordan for decades, but both countries have been resolutely against normalization. The breakthrough with the #UAE is that it openly speaks of normalization: trade, tourism, scientific, and economic cooperation. That’s an Arab first.”
What we Need to Know About the Abraham Accord?
On Facebook, Trump supporter Franklin Graham posts: “There is hope that this strategic agreement could also pave the way for peace with other countries in the region. Peace in the Middle East impacts the entire world. I’m very grateful that President Trump sees the importance of working for peace. The Bible tells us to strive for peace, to pray for peace, and to ‘…Seek peace and pursue it’ (Psalm 34:14). Pray for President Trump, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, and Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the United Arab Emirates Sheikh Mohammed Bin Zayed as delegations continue to meet.”
Several world leaders agree the deal is an important step toward peace in the region. United Kingdom Prime Minister Boris Johnson tweets: “The UAE and Israel’s decision to normalize relations is hugely good news. It was my profound hope that annexation did not go ahead in the West Bank and today’s agreement to suspend those plans is a welcome step on the road to a more peaceful Middle East.”
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, through a spokesman, says he “welcomes this agreement, hoping it will create an opportunity for Israeli and Palestinian leaders to re-engage in meaningful negotiations that will realize a two-state solution in line with relevant UN resolutions, international law, and bilateral agreements.”

Palestinians Call the Abraham Accord a ‘betrayal’
Mahmoud Abbas, president of the Palestinian Authority (PA), rejects and denounces the agreement, calling it “a betrayal of Jerusalem.” Through a spokesman, he says, “This deal is a de facto recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.” In response to the deal, the PA says it will immediately remove its ambassador to the UAE.
The Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) and the militant group Hamas both also reject the accord. PLO executive committee member Hanan Ashrawi tweets: “May you never experience the agony of having your country stolen; may you never feel the pain of living in captivity under occupation; may you never witness the demolition of your home or murder of your loved ones. May you never be sold out by your ‘friends.’”

Hamas spokesman Fawzi Barhoum says the deal is “a stab in the back to the Palestinian cause and will only encourage…more crimes and aggressions against the Palestinian people.”
Mustafa Barghouti, leader of the Palestinian National Initiative, calls the agreement “an effort to support Mr. Trump who is clearly losing the US election.” He adds, “It will not have a big effect on the ground.”
Also unhappy about the Abraham Accord are right-wing Jewish settlers who want to annex the West Bank. David Elhayani, leader of the Yesha Council of settlement mayors, says Netanyahu “deceived us” and “has deceived half a million residents of the area and hundreds of thousands of voters.”

Turkey calls the UAE’s move “hypocritical behavior” that history will neither forgive nor forget. Iran says the agreement is an act of “strategic stupidity” that will bolster resistance against Israel.
Egypt, meanwhile, is cheering the accord. President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, a UAE ally, says, “I value the efforts of those in charge of the deal to achieve prosperity and stability for our region.”

By Sanjida Jannat

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