Israel, Bahrain to establish direct flights after normalisation: Netanyahu

Bahrain becomes latest Arab nation to recognise Israel following UAE

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FILE - Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announces full diplomatic ties will be established with the United Arab Emirates, during a news conference on August 13, 2020 in Jerusalem.

Saeb Erekat said Sunday that the Palestinian leadership will not withdraw from the Arab League in wake of the announcement by the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain that they will normalize relations with Israel.

Some Israelis now believe it is only a matter of time before the Saudi kingdom itself makes peace with Israel.

"Normalization of states in the region with Israel will not change the essence of this conflict, which is the systemic denial of the Palestinian people's inalienable right to freedom and sovereignty", said Hanan Ashrawi, a senior Palestinian official.

That hasn't stopped President Donald Trump from referring to the UAE deal, which was announced last month, as heralding a "previously unthinkable regional transformation".

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"What results from normalisation will not enjoy popular backing, in line with what generations of Bahrainis have been brought up on in terms of adherence to the Palestinian cause", the statement said.

Both countries will sign their peace agreements with Israel on Tuesday at the White House.

"The Bahrain-Israeli agreement to normalize relations is now part of a bigger package in the region".

Israeli analysts said that Bahrain is close to Saudi Arabia, and the deal could only have been reached with tacit Saudi approval.

"If we are exhausted of the Palestinian issue, then what would be the feeling of the Palestinian people who are suffering ... day after day from occupation and oppression", he said, backing the long-standing goal of an independent state along 1967 lines.

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"What happened was an implementation of the USA deal of the century", he stated, worrying that these offers will not accomplish peace if the Israeli-Palestinian dispute is not fixed initially.

Safadi called for stopping all Israeli measures that undermine the two-state solution, and for creating an independent Palestinian state on the 1967 borders with East Jerusalem as its capital, in line with the 2002 Arab Peace Initiative and the global resolutions. Israel withdrew from Gaza in 2005 but imposed a blockade after the militant group Hamas seized power two years later.

The UAE and Bahrain will be represented at the signing ceremony by their foreign ministers, Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan and Abdullatif bin Rashid Al Zayani, respectively.

Still, the announced peace agreements are a major setback for the Palestinians who have always relied on Arab support in confronting the Israelis, especially since the last round of Israeli-Palestinian negotiations broke down in 2014. State media said it hoped the decision could contribute to Israeli-Palestinian peace.

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