Israel and United Arab Emirates Strike Major Diplomatic Agreement

In Israel, the development came at a perilous moment for Mr. Netanyahu, who is leading a fragile, fractious coalition government and faces trial on corruption charges. His Likud party suggested that the deal with the U.A.E. proved that the prime minister was right not to surrender territory to the Palestinians as part of any peace agreement.

“The Israeli and global left always said it was impossible to bring peace with the Arab states in the absence of peace with the Palestinians,” the party said in a statement. “That there was no other way except withdrawal to the 1967 lines, the evacuation of settlements, the partition of Jerusalem and the establishment of a Palestinian state. For the first time in history, Prime Minister Netanyahu has broken the paradigm of ‘land for peace’ and has brought ‘peace for peace.’”

Benny Gantz, who fought Mr. Netanyahu to a draw in three successive elections and now serves as defense minister and alternate prime minister, credited the prime minister and Mr. Trump.

“I am certain that the agreement will have many positive implications for the future of the entire Middle East and for Israel’s standing in the world and in the region,” he said in a statement. “I call upon other Arab nations to advance diplomatic relations in additional peace agreements.”

Hamas, the militant group that controls Gaza, immediately denounced the agreement.

“The American-Israeli-Emirati agreement is dangerous and tantamount to a free reward for the Israeli occupation for its crimes and violations at the expense of the Palestinian people,” Fawzi Barhoum, a spokesman for the group, said in a statement. “It will encourage Israel to perpetrate more crimes and violations at the expense of our people and its holy sites.”

Speaking on condition of anonymity because of the fragility of the nascent relations with Israel, Emirati representatives said that they expected Israel to characterize the halt to annexation as only a “pause” but that in practical terms the deal would likely postpone the prospect of such a move until after the American presidential election. That might bring in an administration in Washington more opposed to the idea and could amount to an indefinite cancellation, the Emiratis argued.

The Emiratis insisted that the concrete steps toward normalization — including opening embassies — will be dependent on the continued halt of any annexation proposals. Those Emirati pledges, however, remained nonpublic and subject to potential revision.

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