The United Arab Emirates on Sunday slammed a decision by Israel to repeal a part of the 2005 Disengagement Law that led to the expulsion of nearly 10,000 Israelis from their homes in Gush Katif and Northern Samaria.
The UAE was the first signatory to the historic 2020 Abraham Accords normalizing diplomatic relations with the State of Israel.
Last week, the Knesset struck down the parts of the law that applied specifically to four destroyed Jewish communities in northern Samaria, including the town of Homesh, where a yeshiva was reinstated and still exists.
In a statement issued by the UAE’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Abu Dhabi “strongly condemned Israel’s decision to allow resettlements in the areas of northern West Bank and authorize new settlement units in the occupied Palestinian territories,” the UAE’s official WAM news agency reported.
The latter was a reference to the approval of housing units in the overcrowded towns of Efrat and Beitar Illit, both located in Gush Etzion. All of the planned housing units are to be built within the existing municipal limits of each town.
But in its statement, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation (MoFAIC) affirmed the UAE’s “rejection of all practices that violate resolutions on international legitimacy and threaten to further exacerbate escalation and instability in the region.”
The UAE also stressed “the need to support all regional and international efforts to advance the peace process in the Middle East, as well as put an end to illegal practices that threaten the two-state solution and establish an independent Palestinian state on the 1967 borders with East Jerusalem as its capital.”
The UAE was not alone is condemning Israel for the move. The United States likewise called the decision “provocative” and in violation of promises made to the Bush Administration in 2005.
However, an Israeli official denied the American accusation, speaking on condition of anonymity.
“There was no violation of any obligation Israel has to the United States,” the official said. The repeal applies only to the ban on Israelis moving to the sites of the former towns of Homesh, Sa-Nur, Kadim and Ganim, and does not entail any new settlement building.