Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said the normalization deals his country was signing with the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain could "end the Arab-Israeli conflict once and for all," at a signing at the White House on Tuesday. He said he hoped the move would one day expand to include other Arab states.
But some analysts have said that the actual achievements of the deal are modest, on the grounds that they merely formalize ties between the nations that had been thawing anyway, and that all three share an interest in opposing Iran’s influence in the region.
Meanwhile, as the accords were being signed, rockets were fired into southern Israel from the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip. Two people were slightly wounded. Israel subsequently carried out airstrikes in Gaza on Wednesday morning.
The agreements do not directly address the decades-long Israeli-Palestinian conflict, though Israel has pledged to freeze its plans to annex the West Bank. Palestinian authorities have rejected the deals as a stab in the back delivered by fellow Arabs. Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said in a statement on Tuesday that the agreements will not lead to regional peace.
Iran and Turkey have both condemned the agreements, which could signal major shift in the region, particularly if Saudi Arabia and other Arab countries normalize relations with Israel. Trump’s supporters hope that the deal will burnish his image in election season. Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, a Democrat, said US lawmakers called for more details on what the agreements actually entailed.
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