Israel and UAE normalisation agreement doesn't mention annexation or F-35s, despite MbZ claims

Israel and UAE normalisation agreement doesn't mention annexation or F-35s, despite MbZ claims
Text of the Israel-UAE-Bahrain deal published by the Israeli press fails to mention a halt to annexation, a two-state solution, or the rumoured sale of F-35s to Abu Dhabi.
3 min read
16 September, 2020
The accords were officially signed on Tuesday [The White House/Andrea Hanks/Handout/Getty]
US-brokered agreements to normalise relations between Israel, the UAE and Bahrain made no mention of Israeli plans to annex parts of the West Bank, despite the Abu Dhabi's claims to the contrary.

The accords were signed by officials on Tuesday in a White House ceremony but the official text of the agreements has not been published by any of the four governments involved, although Israeli press released details on Wednesday.

Despite claims from the UAE last month that the normalisation pact would pause Israel's plans to annex large parts of the occupied West Bank, documents published in media indictate there was no such agreement.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has repeatedly backed plans to annex most Israeli settlements in the Palestinian territory, as well as the fertile and strategic Jordan Valley, which makes up around a third of the West Bank. Israel already exhibits near-complete control over most of the territory as part of the Oslo Accords.

A document purported to be the full text of the Israel-UAE-Bahrain agreement was published widely in the Israeli press, including by leading daily Haaretz.

The document has sections referring to topics including the establishment of embassies, working towards "peace and stability" in the wider region, and cooperating in areas such as healthcare, tourism and energy.

It does not include any section referring to the West Bank or annexation, despite the UAE claiming the deal halted these plans.

Instead, the over nine-page agreement simply refers to a commitment to "working together to realise a negotiated solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict that meets the legitimate needs and aspirations of both peoples".
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The text does not clarify what is meant by the "legitimate needs and aspirations of both peoples" and does not reference a one- or two-state solution to the conflict.

The accord also makes no mention of the US sale of F-35 fighter jets to the UAE, a topic which has been the subject of much speculation since the accord was announced last month.

Washington has for decades refrained from selling advanced military technology to allied Middle Eastern states in order to maintain Israel's overwhelming military dominance in the region.

Reports have speculated that the pact includes a secret clause allowing the sale of F-35 jets to Abu Dhabi, an agreement fiercely denied by Israeli officials.

President Donald Trump said on Tuesday he would personally have "no problem" in selling the warplanes to the UAE despite Israeli objections.

The document as published by Haaretz references a "strategic agenda for the Middle East" including a commitment to work together to "advance regional security and stability", but does not refence the F-35s or other forms of military trade or cooperation.

Israel and the UAE are thought to be cooperating on a number of regional issues, including opposition to Iran.

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