Israeli singer Ziv Yechezkel, a Chareidi singer who specializes in liturgical hymns sung by Jews from Arab countries, performed the UAE National Anthem with the Jerusalem Symphony Orchestra, as a celebration of the historic peace deal between Israel and the UAE.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and the foreign ministers of Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates signed agreements establishing full diplomatic ties at a ceremony at the White House.
The deals, denounced by the Palestinians, make them the third and fourth Arab states to take such steps toward normalizing relations since Israel signed peace treaties with Egypt in 1979 and Jordan in 1994.
US President Donald Trump called the deals “a major stride in which people of all faiths and backgrounds live together in peace and prosperity” and declared that the three Middle East countries “are going to work together, they are friends.”
The back-to-back agreements mark an improbable diplomatic victory for Trump. He has spent his presidency forecasting deals on such intractable problems as North Korea’s nuclear program only to find achievements elusive.
Bringing Israel, the UAE and Bahrain together reflects their shared concern about Iran’s rising influence in the region and development of ballistic missiles. Iran criticized both deals.
All three of the Middle East leaders hailed the agreements and Trump’s role in glowing terms, with Netanyahu saying it gave hope to “all the people of Abraham.”
But the UAE and Bahraini officials both sought to reassure the Palestinians that their countries were not abandoning them or their quest for statehood in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, despite the Palestinian leadership having decried the deals as a betrayal of their cause.
In a sign that regional strife is sure to continue while the Israeli-Palestinian conflict remains unresolved, Palestinian militants fired rockets from Gaza into Israel during the ceremony, the Israeli military said.
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