Israel Roundup — UAE Delegation Lands, Lockdown Eases

  • Israel and UAE continue to expand on their peace
  • Netanyahu called the meeting A Glorious Day of Peace
  • Hamas continues to try to stop these negotiations

In August, Israel and United Arab Emirates (UAE) agreed to normalize relations between the two countries. They met at the White House, together with US President Donald Trump. Representatives from Bahrain joined them. This was the first Middle East treaty since 1994.

During the ceremony, the UAE and Israel signed four agreements.

Then, Jordan and Israel made peace, at the border between the countries at Arabah, which negotiated by President Bill Clinton.

Prior to that, Egypt had made peace with Israel in 1979, negotiated by President Jimmy Carter. The UAE was the first gulf Arab nation to make peace with Israel.

On Wednesday, the first official UAE delegation to Israel arrived at Ben Gurion Airport in Tel Aviv. Because of the Coronavirus Pandemic, a ceremony was held at the airport, including the announcement of the Abraham Fund, a joint foundation in Jerusalem between the USA, the UAE, and Israel.

The goal of the Fund is to develop projects across the Middle East. Also, a visa exemption deal was signed for travelers between Israel and the UAE.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called the day “a glorious day of peace,” welcoming the UAE delegation to Israel. He was accompanied by Foreign Minister Gabi Ashkenazi and Finance Minister Israel Katz. The ceremony lasted for five hours. 

This is another step in broadening relations between the two countries. Prime Minister Netanyahu praised the newly-linked diplomatic agreement as the start of a mutually beneficial relationship.

Jews and Muslims are connected by their father, Abraham, which is the namesake of the Abraham Accords in Washington. The treaty is only a beginning to bring the whole Middle East together in peace.

The Abraham Fund was announced at the ceremony by the CEO of the US International Development Finance Corporation, Adam Boehler. It is a $3 billion Trilateral Foundation to strengthen economic resiliency throughout the Middle East.

Also, four other cooperation agreements were signed at the ceremony, on aviation, visa agreements, and protection of investment in science and technology. All four agreements will be approved in the Knesset at a later date.

The last Middle East peace agreement, between Jordan and Israel, was initiated by President Clinton in 1994.

Meanwhile, representatives of the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) called the meeting shameful, giving strength to Israeli aggression.

Israel exposed a Gaza terror tunnel, stretching deep into Israeli land from Gaza. Israel has developed an underground barrier system which detected the tunnel.

The tunnel was only dug recently, and was not one of the tunnels destroyed by Israel in 2014. Israel holds Hamas guilty for digging the tunnel. 

On Friday, a rocket was fired from Gaza on Israel. The tunnel was discovered on Sunday, with no relation to the firing of the rocket. The tunnel was no threat to Israel, since it had been identified early by the underground barrier system.

However, Israel has roads and agricultural areas near the Gaza Strip. Another rocket was shot off Wednesday from Gaza, representing opposition to the peace between Israel and the UAE.

Israel has been in a lockdown for the last month after a large spike in Coronavirus infections, hospitalizations, and deaths. The lockdown is being eased this week, but returning to normalcy again will be slow. The educational system is the most difficult to open.

Testing for the Coronavirus is being made simpler, without having to have a referral from a doctor. The lockdown has succeeded in bringing down considerably the number of reported infections each day. 

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David Wexelman

Author of 5 books on the internet on topics of Jewish mysticism, managing two websites.

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