Photo Credit: Kobi Gideon / GPO
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu speaks Thursday, 13 August 2020, from his office by telephone with US President Donald Trump and UAE Crown Prince Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed.

Israel and the United Arab Emirates have reached an historic peace agreement, the first such event to take place since Israel and Jordan signed their peace treaty in 1994. The two countries are expected soon to exchange ambassadors and embassies, Reuters reported.

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President Donald Trump, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Sheikh Mohammed Bin Zayed, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi closed the deal — to be known as the “Abraham Accords” — Thursday in a phone conversation. A joint statement issued by the three nations said the three leaders had “agreed to the full normalization of relations between Israel and the United Arab Emirates.”

“This historic diplomatic breakthrough will advance peace in the Middle East region and is a testament to the bold diplomacy and vision of the three leaders and the courage of the United Arab Emirates and Israel to chart a new path that will unlock the great potential in the region,” the statement said.

Delegations from Israel and the United Arab Emirates will meet in the coming weeks to sign bilateral agreements regarding investment, tourism, direct flights, security, telecommunications and other issues, the statement said.

However, there’s a catch: “A result of this diplomatic breakthrough and at the request of President Trump with the support of the United Arab Emirates, Israel will suspend declaring sovereignty” over areas of the West Bank that were envisioned in the U.S. peace plan unveiled by Trump in January.

White House senior adviser Jared Kushner, US Ambassador to Israel David Friedman and Middle East envoy Avi Berkowitz have been deeply involved in the negotiations for the agreement, as well as Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and White House National Security Adviser Robert O’Brien.

One of the most important benefits to emerge from this agreement will be the expansion and accelerated cooperation between Israel and the UAE on COVID-19 treatment and vaccine development, which is to take place immediately.

“Israel for the foreseeable future will be focused on building this relationship and pursuing all the advantages that can come from having this new relationship with this country, and we also breaks the ice for doing more normalizations and peace agreements with other regional players as well,” a White House official told Reuters.

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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.