Tel Aviv city hall lights up with UAE flag to celebrate normalisation deal

Tel Aviv city hall lights up with UAE flag to celebrate normalisation deal
Israel and the UAE announced earlier on Thursday they will normalise diplomatic ties.
2 min read
The Tel Aviv city hall lit up with Lebanon's flag earlier this month [Getty]
The city hall in Tel Aviv has been lit up with the flags of Israel and the United Arab Emirates after the two countries declared they would be establishing full diplomatic ties.

The gesture comes as the UAE on Thursday became only the third Arab country to agree to have full ties with Israel, after Egypt and Jordan.

President Donald Trump first announced the major development on Thursday, saying the United Arab Emirates and Israel have agreed to establish full diplomatic ties as part of a deal to suspend the annexation of occupied land sought by the Palestinians for their future state.

The mayor of liberal Israeli city of Tel Aviv, Ron Huldai, congratulated Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on the "double achievement" of peace with the UAE and shelving of plans to annex parts of the West Bank.

Netanyahu qualified later on Thursday that the agreement involved only the temporary suspension of annexation plans, which remain "on the table".

Earlier this month, the Tel Aviv city hall lit up with the Lebanese flag after the devastating explosion in Beirut that killed more than 200 people.

The move by Mayor Huldai and the Israeli government's offer of aid were ill-received by many Lebanese. 

Israel's minister for Jerusalem affairs, a member of the far-right Jewish Home party, also condemned the gesture.

Israel and Lebanon are still technically at war, while tensions with the powerful Lebanese militant movement Hezbollah have spiked in recent weeks. 

Hezbollah and Israel fought a devastating month-long conflict in 2006 in which Lebanon's infrastructure was badly damaged. The war killed more than 1,200 Lebanese, mostly civilians, and 160 Israelis, most of them soldiers.

Israel also occupied southern Lebanon between 1985 and 2000.

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