Friday, August 14, 2020 Last Update: 2:02 AM GMT

FULL TEXT: ‘Joint Statement of the United States, the State of Israel, and the United Arab Emirates’

Israel and the United Arab Emirates have reached on Thursday a deal that is expected to lead to “full normalization of relations” between the Arab nation and Israel. (Photo: File)

Israel and the United Arab Emirates have reached on Thursday a deal that is expected to lead to “full normalization of relations” between the Arab nation and Israel in an agreement that United States President Donald Trump reportedly helped broker.

The agreement is considered a severe blow to Palestinian efforts aimed at isolating Israel regionally and internationally until it ends its military occupation and apartheid-like system in occupied Palestine. 

“The UAE has come out in the open on its secret dealings/normalization with Israel. Please don’t do us a favor. We are nobody’s fig leaf!” senior Palestinian official Hanan Ashrawi said in a statement. 

Soon after the news of the agreement, The Times of Israel reported that Trump’s senior adviser and son in law Jared Kushner stated that “there were US-brokered talks between Israel and other Arab states, that were put on hold in favor of the UAE deal.”

“It was important to them to be first,” he said, according to the Israeli newspaper.

Kushner reportedly added that those other discussions will now resume, describing the Arab world forging ties with Israel as an “inevitability.”

Below is the full text of the joint statement of the United States, the State of Israel, and the United Arab Emirates, which was available to the media on Thursday.

Joint Statement of the United States, the State of Israel, and the United Arab Emirates

President Donald J. Trump, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel, and His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces, spoke today and agreed to the full normalisation of relations between Israel and the United Arab Emirates.

This historic diplomatic breakthrough will advance peace in the Middle East region and is a testament to the bold diplomacy and vision of the three leaders and the courage of the United Arab Emirates and Israel to chart a new path that will unlock the great potential in the region. All three countries face many common challenges and will mutually benefit from today’s historic achievement.

Delegations from Israel and the United Arab Emirates will meet in the coming weeks to sign bilateral agreements regarding investment, tourism, direct flights, security, telecoms, technology, energy, healthcare, culture, the environment, the establishment of reciprocal embassies, and other areas of mutual benefit. Opening direct ties between two of the Middle East’s most dynamic societies and advanced economies will transform the region by spurring economic growth, enhancing technological innovation, and forging closer people-to-people relations.

As a result of this diplomatic breakthrough and at the request of President Trump with the support of the United Arab Emirates, Israel will suspend declaring sovereignty over areas outlined in the President’s Vision for Peace and focus its efforts now on expanding ties with other countries in the Arab and Muslim world. The United States, Israel and the United Arab Emirates are confident that additional diplomatic breakthroughs with other nations are possible, and will work together to achieve this goal.

The United Arab Emirates and Israel will immediately expand and accelerate co-operation regarding the treatment of and the development of a vaccine for the coronavirus. Working together, these efforts will help save Muslim, Jewish, and Christian lives throughout the region.

This normalisation of relations and peaceful diplomacy will bring together two of America’s most reliable and capable regional partners. Israel and the United Arab Emirates will join with the United States to launch a Strategic Agenda for the Middle East to expand diplomatic, trade, and security co-operation. Along with the United States, Israel and the United Arab Emirates share a similar outlook regarding the threats and opportunities in the region, as well as a shared commitment to promoting stability through diplomatic engagement, increased economic integration, and closer security coordination. Today’s agreement will lead to better lives for the peoples of the United Arab Emirates, Israel, and the region.

The United States and Israel recall with gratitude the appearance of the United Arab Emirates at the White House reception held on January 28, 2020, at which President Trump presented his Vision for Peace, and express their appreciation for United Arab Emirates’ related supportive statements. The parties will continue their efforts in this regard to achieve a just, comprehensive and enduring resolution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. As set forth in the Vision for Peace, all Muslims who come in peace may visit and pray at the Al Aqsa Mosque, and Jerusalem’s other holy sites should remain open for peaceful worshippers of all faiths.

Prime Minister Netanyahu and Crown Prince Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan express their deep appreciation to President Trump for his dedication to peace in the region and to the pragmatic and unique approach he has taken to achieve it.

(The Palestine Chronicle)

UAE, Israel Agree to Normalize Relations with US Help

Israel and the United Arab Emirates have reached on Thursday a deal that is expected to lead to “full normalization of relations” between the Arab nation and Israel. (Photo: File)

Israel and the United Arab Emirates have reached on Thursday a deal that is expected to lead to “full normalization of relations” between the Arab nation and Israel in an agreement that United States President Donald Trump reportedly helped broker.

The deal was the product of lengthy discussions between Israel, the UAE and the US that accelerated recently, White House officials told the Reuters news agency.

A joint statement was tweeted out Thursday by Trump, that spelled out some of the issues that had been agreed.

“This historic diplomatic breakthrough will advance peace in the Middle East region and is a testament to the bold diplomacy and vision of the three leaders and the courage of the United Arab Emirates and Israel to chart a new path that will unlock the great potential in the region,” the statement said.

Trump hailed the agreement as a first step, speaking to reporters in the Oval Office.

“Now that the ice has been broken, I expect more Arab and Muslim countries will follow the United Arab Emirates,” he said.

But the move was slammed by senior Palestinian official Hanan Ashrawi on Twitter.

“Israel got rewarded for not declaring openly what it’s been doing to Palestine illegally & persistently since the beginning of the occupation,” senior Palestinian official Hanan Ashrawi wrote on Twitter. She also said the UAE has come forward with its “secret dealings/normalization with Israel”.

Delegations from Israel and the UAE will meet in the coming weeks to sign bilateral agreements regarding investment, tourism, direct flights, security, telecommunications and other “areas of mutual benefit,” the statement said.

It said the UAE “will immediately expand and accelerate cooperation” for coronavirus treatment and to develop a vaccine.

The deal will lead the way for the US, UAE and Israel to “launch a Strategic Agenda for the Middle East to expand diplomatic, trade and security cooperation,” the joint statement said, citing that the three countries have a similar outlook on the threats and opportunities in the region.

(AJE, PC, Social Media)

8-Year-Old Palestinian Child Dies from Coronavirus in Hebron

Palestine is currently under a state of emergency to prevent the spread of coronavirus infections. (Photo: Fawzi Mahmoud)

An eight-year-old Palestinian child from the West Bank town of Idna outside of Hebron (Al-Khalil), died last night from the coronavirus, the Ministry of Health has said.

He was reported to have been suffering from serious health issues including asthma and congenital heart defects.

Palestine is currently under a state of emergency to prevent the spread of coronavirus infections, while also easing its lockdown, declared the Palestinian government earlier this month.

According to the Wafa news agency, Hebron has become the epicenter of the coronavirus in the occupied West Bank, with 107 of the new cases being recorded in the district today and 149 in East Jerusalem.

The Palestinian Health Minister Mai Al-Kaila said that 32 new infections and 1022 recoveries were confirmed in Palestine in the past 24 hours.

She added that due to the Israeli occupation, patients in the occupied West Bank and Gaza are required to obtain medical permits to access Jerusalem’s hospitals.

(MEMO, PC, Social Media)

Knesset Rejects Bill Preventing Netanyahu from Heading Government

The Israeli Knesset. (Photo: File)

Israeli Knesset (parliament) rejected a bill on Wednesday which would prevent its members indicted on criminal charges from forming a government, the Times of Israel has reported.

The bill, which was introduced by opposition leader Yair Lapid, aimed to prevent Netanyahu from forming a government if another general election is held in Israel.

According to reports, 53 MKs rejected the bill, and 37 supported it. The Blue and White bloc, Netanyahu’s partner in the government, abstained in the vote.

“We are today witnessing another disgusting episode in a never-ending campaign on the part of those who say they uphold democracy, but hold a sword for its decapitation in their hands,” Netanyahu told Knesset members after the vote.

The prime minister described as “unforgivable” what he said was Lapid’s “condescension” towards right-wing and Likud voters.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who faces corruption and fraud charges, and opposition leader Yair Lapid traded insults after the discussion in the chamber.

Netanyahu was indicted in November in cases involving gifts from millionaire friends and for allegedly seeking regulatory favors for media tycoons in return for favorable coverage.

(Palestine Chronicle, MEMO, Social Media)

Israeli Airstrikes Hit Targets in Gaza, Including UNRWA Primary School

An Israeli drone targeted a UNRWA primary school in the Al-Shati refugee camp, west of Gaza city. (Photo: via Twitter)

Israeli warplanes and artillery attacked targets in the blockaded Gaza Strip early this morning while the fishing rights for Gazans were drastically reduced, the Palestinian news agency WAFA reported.

An Israeli warplane fired two missiles at a site in the northern Gaza Strip, causing heavy damage to the site and neighboring buildings but no bodily harm.

Another fighter jet fired two missiles at agricultural land east of Beit Hanoun, also in the north, causing a deep hole in the ground, and two other missiles at a location east of Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip, causing damage to property.

Israeli artillery also shelled a location east of Deir al-Balah in the central Gaza Strip causing heavy damage to the location and nearby property.

An Israeli drone also targeted a UNRWA primary school in the Al-Shati refugee camp, west of Gaza city.

At the same time, the Israeli occupation authorities reduced the fishing area for Gaza fishermen and stopped the entry of fuel into Gaza as part of its collective punishment policy against the Gaza Strip and its two million impoverished population.

Israel claims the attacks and collective punishment came following the firing of incendiary balloons from Gaza into bordering Israeli areas that caused a fire but not bodily harm.

Gaza, with a population of 2 million, has been under a hermetic Israeli siege since 2006, when the Palestinian group Hamas won the democratic legislative elections in occupied Palestine. Since then, Israel has carried out numerous bombing campaigns and several major wars, that resulted in the death of thousands of people.

(Palestine Chronicle, WAFA, Social Media)

Netanyahu Claims US Prevented Him from Carrying out Annexation Plans

US President Donald Trump (L) with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. (Photo: File)

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu yesterday revealed that the United States prevented him from carrying out his plan to annex large swathes of the occupied West Bank, Israeli media reported.

Speaking to Israeli TV Channel 20, Netanyahu said: “It was clear from the start that the application of sovereignty would be done only with agreement from the United States. Otherwise, I would have already done it a while ago.”

According to Jerusalem Post, Netanyahu added: “Trump is now busy with other things, and this [annexation] is not on the top of his mind.”

He continued:

“I hope that in the near future we will be able to advance recognition of the application of sovereignty as well as other diplomatic issues of importance to Israel.”

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had pledged to annex nearly 30 percent of the total size of the occupied Palestinian West Bank and Jordan Valley, an act deemed a stark violation of international law. 

Although annexation didn’t actualize on July 1, a self-imposed deadline by Netanyahu himself, Israel remains adamant in its intentions to formalize the annexation of large swathes of Palestinian land. 

Washington is supportive of the Israeli move, although media reports spoke of the possibility that Trump’s Administration may have requested that Tel Aviv delay its plans for an unspecified period of time. 

(Palestine Chronicle, MEMO, Social Media)

Biden Picks Pro-Israel Kamala Harris as Running Mate

US Senator Kamala Harris and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. (Photo: File)

Democratic US presidential candidate Joe Biden selected former rival Kamala Harris on Tuesday as his running mate for the November 3 election. Harris is the first woman of color to be nominated for the position by a major political party.

The California senator is known as the “Top Cop in the era of Black Lives Matter” and has a record of fighting for civil rights, freedom, and equality in America. Her mixed Indian and Jamaican heritage and the fact that she married her Jewish husband, Douglas Emhoff, in an interfaith ceremony, has also enabled her to appeal to multiple audiences and voting blocs.

However, some critics argue that her endorsement of such causes is not consistent when it comes to foreign policy, in particular on the subject of the Israel-Palestine conflict. She has been described as a “staunch supporter” of Israel, having delivered a speech at the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) in 2017, not long after being sworn into the Senate. She has also met Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

According to Kyle Kulinski, a left-wing commentator and founder of the progressive political action committee Justice Democrats, by brushing aside Israel’s human rights record Harris is demonstrating that her moral and ethical concerns are non-existent. “She’s playing the political game that people play in the United States of America to try to get ahead.”

When asked by the New York Times last year whether she thinks Israel meets international human rights standards, Harris replied, “Overall, yes.”

As a senator, Harris also co-sponsored a bill in 2018 rejecting a UN Security Council resolution condemning illegal Jewish settlements in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem. A year later, she faced criticism from fellow Democrats after releasing photographs with AIPAC leaders in her Capitol Hill office having discretely attended an “off-the-record session”, reported Haaretz.

National opinion polls put Biden, the Vice President in the Obama administration, ahead of Republican President Donald Trump. If elected, at 77 he would be the oldest US President in history, surpassing incumbent Trump who entered the White House aged 70.

(MEMO, PC, Social Media)

Jewish Settlers Close West Bank Road, Attack Palestinian Vehicles

Jewish settlers block a West Bank road and hurl stones at Palestinian vehicles. (Photo: via Twitter)

Jewish settlers today closed one of the main roads in the northern West Bank and attacked Palestinian vehicles, the Palestinian news agency WAFA reported.

Ghassan Daghlas, who monitors settlement construction in the northern West Bank, said that a group of Jewish settlers, protected by Israeli soldiers, hurled stones at Palestinian vehicles as they were driving on a road connecting Nablus to Qalqilya, causing damage to some and threatening the life of their occupants.

Settler violence against Palestinians and their property is routine in the West Bank and is rarely prosecuted by Israeli authorities.

Settler violence against Palestinians and their property is routine in the West Bank and is rarely prosecuted by Israeli authorities.

“Jewish settler violence should not be analyzed separately from the violence meted out by the Israeli army, but seen within the larger context of the violent Zionist ideology that governs Israeli society entirely,” wrote Palestinian author and editor of The Palestine Chronicle, Ramzy Baroud.

“Settler violence has long since become part of Palestinians’ daily life under occupation,” according to the Human Rights Group B’tselem. “Israeli security forces enable these actions, which result in Palestinian casualties – injuries and fatalities – as well as damage to land and property. In some cases, they even serve as an armed escort, or even join in the attacks”.

Between 500,000 and 600,000 Israelis live in Jewish-only settlements across occupied East Jerusalem and the West Bank in violation of international law.

(Palestine Chronicle, WAFA, Social Media)

Palestinian Family Living in a Cave Face Eviction by Israeli Authorities

Ahmed Amarneh and his family live in a cave home after they were refused permission to build a house. (Photo: via Twitter)

Israeli authorities have threatened to demolish the West Bank cave that a Palestinian family have sought sanctuary in after they were refused permission to build a house, according to the news agency AFP.

Ahmed Amarneh’s home may be the first built inside a cave that Israeli occupation authorities have threatened to destroy.

Amarneh, a 30-year-old civil engineer, lives with his family in the northern West Bank village of Farasin, where Israel insists it must approve any new residential construction and tears down homes built without permits.

“I tried twice to build [a house], but the occupation authorities told me it was forbidden to build in the area,” Amarneh told AFP.

The Oslo peace accords of the 1990s gave the Palestinians self-rule in some parts of the West Bank.

However, some 60 percent of the West Bank, dubbed Area C, remains under full Israeli civil and military control. Farasin is located in this area.

The United Nations considers Area C as an occupied Palestinian Territory.

But Israel has increasingly allocated land there for the construction of settlements which are illegal under international law.

Convinced he would never get Israeli approval to build a home in his village, Amarneh set his sights on a cave in the foothills overlooking Farasin.

Amarneh said he figured that as an ancient, natural formation, Israel could not possibly argue that the cave was illegally built, while the Palestinian Authority (PA) agreed to register the land in his name. He sealed the entrance to the cave with a stone wall and installed a wooden door at its center.

Amarneh told AFP he had been living there for a year and a half, but received a demolition notice from the Israeli occupation authorities in July, along with 20 other Palestinian families in Farasin.

The Israeli military branch responsible for civilian affairs in the West Bank, COGAT, told AFP demolition notices were served to some Farasin residences because of “structures that were illegally built, without the necessary permits and approvals”.

Those demolitions began on Monday, with Israeli troops destroying one home in Farasin and a water tank, a AFP photographer said.

Amarneh, whose home was not targeted on Monday, had told AFP he was “surprised” to learn that he had built anything illegally.

“I didn’t make the cave. It has existed since antiquity,” he said, holding his young daughter in his arms. “I don’t understand how they can prevent me from living in a cave. Animals live in caves and are not thrown out. So, let them treat me like an animal and let me live in the cave.”

(Al-Araby Al-Jadeed, PC, Social Media)

Israeli Authorities Order Demolitions, Displace Palestinians in East Jerusalem (VIDEOS)

Israeli forces surround 3 houses in the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Silwan, in preparation for demolition. (Photo: via Twitter)

Three Palestinian brothers and their families found themselves homeless today after the Israeli municipality of West Jerusalem demolished their three-apartment building in the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Silwan under the pretext of construction without a permit, the Palestinian news agency WAFA reported.

At the same time, two other Palestinian residents of East Jerusalem were forced to tear down their homes on their own at orders from the Israeli municipality for construction without a permit or otherwise be forced to pay high costs if the demolition was undertaken by the municipal staff.

In Silwan, Israeli police and staff of the West Jerusalem municipality escorted bulldozers into Wadi Qaddum area where they cordoned off the three-apartment building before the bulldozers proceeded to demolish it, displacing over 25 people.

Owners of the apartments were identified as Wael Tahhan along with his brothers, Ala and Nader.

A member of the Tahhan family said that despite making several attempts to apply for the permit, the Israeli municipality did not grant them the license and instead fined them some $74,000.

Wadi Hilweh Information Center, a Silwan-based media center, posted a video for the demolition.

Meanwhile, Ibrahim Sabia and Khaled Abu-Taa were forced to demolish their homes in the Jerusalem neighborhood of Sheikh Jarrah purportedly for being built without a license.

Abu-Taa pointed out that he received a demolition order after he built his house a year and a half ago. Although he managed to freeze the order throughout this period, an Israeli court issued a final demolition order in July, allowing him one month to carry out the demolition himself.

According to Israeli rights group B’Tselem, the”destruction of the neighborhood denies its residents the right to housing, which is derived from the right to an adequate standard of living as it is defined in the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights.

“In addition, the Fourth Geneva Convention prohibits the occupying state to destroy the property of residents of occupied territory, who benefit from the status of protected persons,” B’tselem added.

(Palestine Chronicle, WAFA, Social Media)