Photo Credit: Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs via Twitter
Israeli judoku Sagi Muki wins gold at Abu Dhabi Grand Slam Judo Tournament 2018 Miri Regev, Israel's minister of culture and sports standing to the far left on the podium

Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu officially announced on a nationally televised briefing the “establishment of a full and formal peace between Israel and the United Arab Emirates” in a briefing Thursday evening, telling reporters there will be “mutual opening of embassies, direct flights and many, many other bilateral agreements.”

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“This is the greatest advancement towards peace between Israel and the Arab world in the last 26 years and it marks the third formal peace between Israel and an Arab nation,” Netanyahu said.

“In 1979, Prime Minister Menachem Begin made peace with Egypt. In 1994, Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin signed a peace treaty with Jordan, and today I’m honored to announce a formal peace agreement with the United Arab Emirates.

“I believe there’s a good chance we will soon see more Arab countries joining this expanding circle of peace.

“I want to thank President Trump for his critical help in brokering this historic accord. And I want to thank him for his revolutionary vision for peace, which is the most realistic and important formula for peace in the region. President Trump’s Middle East plan served as a basis for today’s historic peace announcement.

“Israel and the UAE are two of the most advanced countries in the world. Together, we will transform the region and forge an even better future for our people. This is a future of peace, a future of security, and a future of prosperity.

I have always believed that we could establish peace with the Arab world, and I’ve been working towards that lofty goal for decades. You may not know it, but I’ve been doing it, all the time – in meetings that are publicized, and in many that are not. In Washington, in the Middle East, in daylight, and in nighttime.

“In recent years Israel under my leadership has made advancement in ties with such countries as Sudan, Oman, Bahrain, and other nations in the Gulf. I have reason to be very optimistic that today’s announcement with the UAE will be followed by more Arab nations joining our region’s circle of peace.

And to the people of Abu Dhabi and its leader Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Zayed, I say, Salaam Aleikum, Shalom Aleichem, peace unto thee, peace unto all of us. Thank you.”

Rivlin: ‘Important, Strategic Milestone’
President Reuven Rivlin also commented on the agreement, calling it an “important and strategic milestone for new opportunities in our region.

“I sincerely hope that this step will also lead to strengthening the trust between us and the peoples of the region, which we will need to reach a broad-based and stable agreement amongst us all,” Israel’s president said.

“I congratulate the President of the United States, the Prime Minister of Israel and Crown Prince Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed on this impressive achievement and invite the Crown Prince to visit Jerusalem. Ahlan wa’Sahlan.”

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Hana Levi Julian is a Middle East news analyst with a degree in Mass Communication and Journalism from Southern Connecticut State University. A past columnist with The Jewish Press and senior editor at Arutz 7, Ms. Julian has written for Babble.com, Chabad.org and other media outlets, in addition to her years working in broadcast journalism.