Peace deals close between Israel and five or six other countries

Peace deals close between Israel and five or six other countries”

"MORE countries to follow!" he added.

The defense minister says that his ministry will work with the Pentagon to determine if and how such a sale would harm Israel's so-called "Qualitative Military Edge", which the USA is legally bound to maintain, and what could be done to maintain the Jewish state's superior capabilities. A strategic breakthrough is needed, he noted, but admitted "it will not happen overnight".

Trump said last week that Bahrain had also reached a diplomatic deal with Israel. Gen. Tamir Yadai, prior to the briefing, says he did not expect that there would be a large-scale outbreak of violence by Palestinians in response to the normalization agreements with the UAE and Bahrain.

"We're very far down the road with about five countries, five additional countries", Trump said as he hosted Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in the Oval Office, ahead of a signing ceremony with both Arab states for the US-brokered peace deal.

It will be the first time Arab nations have established relations with Israel since Egypt in 1979 and Jordan in 1994.

The Palestinian leadership, which has long accused Trump of pro-Israel bias, has denounced the Arab rapprochement with Israel as a betrayal of their cause, even though Netanyahu agreed, in return for normalisation with the UAE, to suspend a plan to annex parts of the occupied West Bank.

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However, despite the UAE foreign minister's optimism, "breaking the psychological barrier" is perceived differently by many regional players.

"This is a great turning point in the history of Israel and in the history of the Middle East". Gargash even had to explain in August that "the UAE-Israeli peace treaty is a sovereign decision not directed at Iran".

The Sultanate of Oman is willing to normalise ties with Israel but is hesitant that its relationship with Iran would be severely harmed if it made the move, Israel Hayom reported a UAE source saying yesterday. Fellow Gulf state Qatar has ruled out normalising ties with Israel until the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is resolved. The agreements come at a hard time for the Israeli PM as he faces criticism at home of his handling of the coronavirus crisis and a corruption trial on charges of bribery, fraud and breach of trust.

Netanyahu denies any wrongdoing and describes his trial as a leftist political witch-hunt aimed at unseating a popular right-wing leader. They have been dubbed the "Abraham Accords".

Saudi officials had previously stressed that the kingdom will not normalise relations with Israel outside of the framework of the Arab peace initiative, which calls for establishing a Palestinian state.

But a few moments later, he said "we've been given very strong signals" that Palestinian officials want to "join" the two pacts being signed at the White House on Tuesday. Palestinian Authority PM Mohammad Shtayyeh on Monday called on the Arab states to boycott the signing ceremony at the White House.

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