US President Donald Trump hosted the signing ceremony on the White House South Lawn Tuesday where Israel signed a peace treaty with the UAE and a declaration of peace with Bahrain.
- President Trump, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, UAE Foreign Minister Abdullah bin Zayed and Bahraini Foreign Minister Abdullatif bin Rashid Alzayani all hailed the occasion as an historic breakthrough toward peace in the Middle East.
- In addition to the bilateral agreements, all three signed a trilateral document, the “Abraham Accords” calling for peace among the monotheistic religions. Trump also signed as a witness. Read the full text here.
In his speech President Trump declared: “We’re here this afternoon to change the course of history… After decades of division and conflict, we mark the dawn of a new Middle East.”
- Prime Minister Netanyahu said: “This day is a pivot of history. It heralds a new dawn of peace. For thousands of years, the Jewish people have prayed for peace. For decades, the Jewish state has prayed for peace.” Adding, “This is a not a peace between leaders, but a peace among peoples.”
- Emirati Foreign Minister Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the brother of Abu Dhabi’s de facto ruler and crown prince, thanked Israel for “halting the annexation of Palestinian territories”.
- Despite the Emirati Foreign Minister thanking Israel for stopping annexation, Likud officials have continued to insist it is only a temporary suspension.
- Bahrain’s Foreign Minister called the declaration “an historic step on the road to genuine and lasting peace, security and prosperity across the region, and for all who live there, regardless of religion, sect, ethnicity, or ideology.” He added: “A just, comprehensive and enduring two-state solution to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict will be the foundation – the bedrock – of such peace.”
- The two Gulf countries become third and fourth Arab states to sign treaties with Israel, after Egypt in 1979 and Jordan in 1994.
- The agreement with UAE includes a full diplomatic exchange of embassies and ambassadors as well as cooperation in a variety of spheres, including finance and investment, civil aviation, innovation, trade and economic relations, healthcare, science, technology, and space cooperation for peaceful uses.
Coronavirus Update: Israel headed for second nationwide lockdown
- Israel headed for another national lockdown which begins Friday will last at least three weeks — comes as the country has seen infection rates spiral in the past few weeks, topping 4,000 new daily cases in recent days. Evening curfews had already been ordered in dozens of cities and areas last week.
- People will be restricted to no more than 1000m from their homes whilst non-essential businesses, restaurants, leisure facilities, tourist spots and most schools will be closed. The weekly cost of such a lockdown during the holidays is estimated as being between three to four billion shekels. The cost of a lockdown during a normal week is higher.