Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in report by news agency AP, has said that the deal to establish full diplomatic ties with the United Arab Emirates proves that Israel doesn’t need to retreat from occupied land sought by the Palestinians in order to achieve peace and normalization with Arab states.
Israel and the UAE announced recently that they were establishing full diplomatic relations in a U.S.-brokered deal that required Israel to halt its contentious plan to annex occupied West Bank land sought by the Palestinians. Netanyahu has insisted the annexation plans are only on temporary hold at the request of the United States.
The UAE, like most of the Arab world, long rejected official diplomatic ties with Israel, saying recognition should only come in return for concessions in peace talks. Its accord with Israel breaks that long-held tenet and could usher in agreements with other Arab states, undermining an Arab consensus that was a rare source of leverage for the Palestinians.
According to the Palestinians, and to many others in the world who agreed with them, peace can’t be reached without conceding to the Palestinians’ demands, including uprooting settlements, dividing Jerusalem and withdrawal to 1967 lines, Netanyahu said in a video statement. No more. This concept of peace through withdrawal and weakness has passed from the world.
Netanyahu also reiterated his interpretation of the UAE deal: that annexation was only being suspended and that it was still on the table, so long as it was done in coordination with Washington. UAE officials have indicated that the deal means annexation has been shelved entirely.