Israel to halt Palestinian land annexation in ‘historic’ deal with UAE

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Israel are to establish diplomatic ties in a deal halting planned annexation of occupied land sought by the Palestinians.

US President Donald Trump announced the deal on Thursday after successfully getting Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan to agree to a normalisation of relations between the two countries.

The deal, to be signed in the coming weeks, will see Israel backing down from “unilateral annexation” of the West Bank – land sought by the Palestinians for their future state, Israeli foreign minister Gabi Ashkenazi said.

Mr Trump said delegations from Israel and the UAE will meet to sign bilateral agreements on “investment, tourism, direct flights, security, telecommunications, technology, energy, healthcare, culture, the environment, the establishment of reciprocal embassies and other areas of mutual benefit”, a joint statement said.

It added that the two countries’ leaders expressed their “deep appreciation” to Mr Trump “for his dedication to peace in the region and to the pragmatic and unique approach he has taken to achieve it”.

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