Israel, UAE Agree to Full Normalization of Ties

First new Israel treaty with Arab state in 25 years

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) made a surprise move Thursday by announcing a peace deal with Israel, which will include full normalization of ties. This is the first such agreement for Israel since 1994, when they reached a deal with Jordan.

Under the deal, Israel will temporarily put annexation of the occupied West Bank on hold. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu insists that this is temporary, and that he still intends to carry out full annexation with the US endorsement.

Coalition partner Naftali Bennett was deeply critical of the move, praising the deal with the UAE but saying Netnayahu lacked the courage to annex the West Bank. Settler groups also panned Netanyahu as having ‘betrayed’ the settlers on annexation.

President Trump praised the move as a huge achievement. Other US officials suggest Israel had two opportunities, peace or annexation, and chose one, though it remains to be seen how long Israel can hold off the annexation without a far-right backlash.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.