Israeli prime minister on Thursday said he is “still committed” to annexing parts of the West Bank despite a normalization deal with the UAE.
In a televised address, Benjamin Netanyahu said the deal includes temporary suspension to the annexation plan.
“[US President Donald] Trump asked to temporarily suspend the annexation of parts of the West Bank and I agreed,” he said, adding: “Extending sovereignty will be done only alongside the United States.”
“All of us, the moderate states of the Middle East, are standing in a united front in favor of progress and against the radicals who threaten us and world peace.” Netanyahu said.
Netanyahu said more Arab countries will follow the UAE and forge relations with Israel
Earlier, Trump announced Israel and the UAE have agreed to normalize relations, in a move forestalling Israel’s controversial plans to annex large swathes of the occupied West Bank.
A joint statement from the US, UAE, and Israel said the “breakthrough” will promote “peace in the Middle East region and is a testament to the bold diplomacy and vision of the three leaders,” referring to Trump, Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed al-Nahyan, and Netanyahu.
Under the deal, Israel will “suspend” plans to annex parts of the occupied West Bank “and focus its efforts now on expanding ties with other countries in the Arab and Muslim world,” according to the statement.
“The United States, Israel and the United Arab Emirates are confident that additional diplomatic breakthroughs with other nations are possible, and will work together to achieve this goal,” it added.
The development marks only the third time an Arab nation has opened full diplomatic ties with Israel, and the Emirates is now the first Gulf Arab state to do so. The other Arab nations with diplomatic ties with Israel are Egypt and Jordan.
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