10:55 GMT22 September 2020
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    In mid-August, Israel and the UAE signed off on a US-brokered deal to establish full diplomatic ties and exchange embassies in return for Israel putting on hold the extension of additional sovereignty over areas of the West Bank, in a move criticised by some Arab states, as well as by Turkey, Iran, and the Palestinian Authority.

    Iran's top authority, Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei slammed the deal on normalizing relations reached between the United Arab Emirates and Israel in a speech on Tuesday, reported Reuters.

    Castigating the move as betrayal of the Islamic world and the Palestinians, he said:

    "Of course, the UAE's betrayal will not last long, but this stigma will always be remembered. They allowed the Zionist regime to have a foothold in the region and forgot Palestine."

    Khamenei added that the Emiratis will be” disgraced forever for this treachery against the Islamic world, Arab nations and Palestine."

    The Ayatollah’s comments came as a delegation comprising senior Israeli and US officials, including White House senior adviser Jared Kushner, arrived in Abu Dhabi to finalise the agreement.

    The national flags of Israel and the United Arab Emirates flutter along a highway following the agreement to formalize ties between the two countries, in Netanya, Israel August 17, 2020
    © REUTERS / Nir Elias
    The national flags of Israel and the United Arab Emirates flutter along a highway following the agreement to formalize ties between the two countries, in Netanya, Israel August 17, 2020

    In a reference to the US President Donald Trump's son-in-law, Khamenei said:

    "The UAE along with Israelis and evil Americans like the Jewish member of Trump's family are working together against the interests of the Islamic world… I hope Emiratis wake up and compensate for what they did."

    ‘Historic’ Deal

    The US-Israeli delegation arrived at the presidential airport in Abu Dhabi on 31 August, on board the first Israeli commercial plane to land in the UAE.

    ​Kushner, a key architect of Trump’s Middle East policy, said:

    "While this is a historic flight, we hope that it will start an even more historic journey in the Middle East and beyond."

    Lior Haiat, spokesperson for Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs, was cited by WAM on Monday as hailing the decision by UAE President Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan on Saturday to abolish the Israel Boycott Law.

    "The important decision to abolish the boycott on Israel and Israeli companies is an important step towards normalisation. The UAE President [Sheikh] Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, took a historic decision that shows real leadership," said Haiat.

    The move to abolish the Israel Boycott Law will enable individuals and companies in the UAE to embark on commercial, financial and other dealings with bodies or individuals residing in Israel or Israeli nationals.

    According to Haiat, the step "will create the basis of the future of the normalisation accords."

    The deal makes the UAE the third Arab country to have open diplomatic ties to the country after Egypt in 1979, and Jordan in 1994.

    White House National Security Advisor Robert O’Brien and Donald Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner met Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Jerusalem on the eve of talks in Abu Dhabi to finalize the deal.

    Netanyahu emphasized that abolishing “the anachronistic boycott” opened the door for “unbridled” cooperation in defence, medicine, agriculture, tourism, technology and investment.

    Robert O’Brien stopped short of suggesting other potential signatories to the accord, saying:

    “We believe that other Arab and Muslim countries will soon follow the United Arab Emirates’ lead and normalise relations with Israel.”

    Israeli officials are reported to have publicly mentioned Oman, Bahrain and Sudan in connection with the issue, reported Reuters.

    Palestinians burn cutouts depicting U.S. President Donald Trump and Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed al-Nahyan and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu during a protest against the United Arab Emirates' deal with Israel to normalise relations, in Nablus in the Israeli-occupied West Bank August 14, 2020.
    © REUTERS / RANEEN SAWAFTA
    Palestinians burn cutouts depicting U.S. President Donald Trump and Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed al-Nahyan and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu during a protest against the United Arab Emirates' deal with Israel to normalise relations, in Nablus in the Israeli-occupied West Bank August 14, 2020.

    Palestinian leaders have criticized the new deal, which they claim erodes a long-term unofficial rule that there could be no diplomatic ties between Israel and the Arab world without a breakthrough in talks with the Palestinians.

    “The Palestinian leadership rejects the actions of the Emirati government, considering it to be a betrayal of the Palestinian people and Jerusalem and al-Aqsa,” PA spokesperson Nabil Abu Rudeineh said in a statement on Palestine TV.

     

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    Tags:
    Donald Trump, Jared Kushner, Benjamin Netanyahu, Palestinian Authority, Palestinian Authority, Israel, Israel, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, Iran
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