Netanyahu: UAE Accord Ushers in New Era

YERUSHALAYIM -
Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu announces a peace agreement to establish diplomatic ties with the United Arab Emirates, Thursday. (Abir Sultan /Pool via Reuters)

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu‏‏ addressed the nation on the agreement with the UAE in a press conference on Thursday evening, in which he confirmed the establishment of full diplomatic ties and stressed that Israel has not given up on its plans for extending sovereignty in Yehuda and Shomron.

Netanyahu began his speech by describing it as “an historic event which opens a new era” in relations with Israel’s Arab neighbors, and predicting more Arab countries will establish ties with Israel.

There is “no change in my plans for annexation, with full coordination with the U.S.,” but did not elaborate. In recent days, he has said that the matter was now in the hands of officials in Washington. Indications have been, however, that it’s been taken off the agenda for the time being.

Netanyahu declared that he’s committed to sovereignty, and will “never give up on our rights in our land.”

He that there was no quid pro quo, that the peace is not in exchange for anything, and that President Trump only asked for a temporary suspension of annexation plans.

Answering critics, he said that nobody ever believes his promises but he proves them wrong, as he did here, by forging peace with an Arab country without making peace with the Palestinians first.

The UAE agreement belies claims on the left that only they can bring peace, he said.

Plans for Israeli and UAE delegations to meet to finalize the agreement are underway, he confirmed.

Earlier, a White House official told Walla News that a signing ceremony in Washington is being planned with the participation of Netanyahu and UAE leader Mohammed Bin Zayed.

The speech ended with a note of thanks to Trump and UAE leader Mohammed Bin Zayed, including in Arabic.