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Israeli-Arabs split over agreement with the Emirates

Some Israeli-Arabs reject the deal with the UAE, while others cheer the opening to the Arab world.
Israeli children play with the flag of the United Arab Emirates during an anti-government rally in front of the Prime Minister's residence in Jerusalem, on August 29, 2020. (Photo by EMMANUEL DUNAND / AFP) (Photo by EMMANUEL DUNAND/AFP via Getty Images)

It was only last month that the world first heard the dramatic announcement that the United States had mediated an agreement, normalizing relations between Israel and the United Arab Emirates. “Historic peace agreement between our two GREAT friends,” tweeted US President Donald Trump on Aug. 13. Trump also described it as a “HUGE breakthrough,” a term Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu later applied to a corollary of the deal. UAE Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed announced that his country had decided that it would be “setting a roadmap towards establishing a bilateral relationship” between the two countries in exchange for a halt to Israeli annexation of Palestinian lands.

Moreover, within just a couple of weeks, an Israeli delegation led by the head of the National Security Council, Meir Ben Shabbat, left for Abu Dhabi with an American delegation on the first commercial flight from Tel Aviv to the UAE. Shortly afterward, Saudi Arabia announced that it would allow flights between Israel and the UAE to fly over its airspace. Then Bahrain seconded this, saying it would also allow these flights to fly over it.

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