The agreement was a major political turnaround for Mr. Netanyahu, who has long insisted on expanding settlements in the occupied West Bank in an effort to annex the territory. Mr. Netanyahu was under political pressure to be flexible, as three new elections gave him only a majority in a coalition government and he was prosecuted in 2021. In 2019, the Trump administration reversed decades of U.S. policy by declaring that West Bank settlements were not contrary to international law, a decision that threatened the two-state solution, long seen as the key to a lasting peace between Israel and the Palestinians. The Trump administration`s Middle East policy, developed by Jared Kushner, the president`s top adviser, and published in January 2020, endorsed Mr. Netanyahu`s plan to reintegate existing settlements. After Yousef Al Otaiba, the ambassador of the United Arab Emirates, wrote a statement in June 2020 in which he warned that the annexation would threaten better relations between Israel and the Arab world, Kushner saw an opportunity and intervened to facilitate the talks. After the negotiators agreed, Mr. Trump, Netanyahu and Abu Dhabi`s crown prince, Mohammed bin Zayed, held a conference call just before an official announcement.
     Today, for the first time in nearly 30 years, an Arab country has engaged in full diplomatic relations with the State of Israel. Mark Landler talks about the changes in the Middle East. Given the shared authority between Hamas in the Gaza Strip and Fatah in the West Bank and a growing number of Palestinians, increasingly frustrated by both, Palestinian leaders are a complex matter. However, at a rare moment of unity and agreement, the two factions (along with a number of fringe political parties) jointly condemned the peace agreement. For Hamas in Gaza, the likely outcome of these recent developments is a short-term escalation of sporadic but ongoing violence that characterizes its border relations with Israel. Israel will probably react on substantive issues. It won`t make much difference. Prospects are more uncertain in the West Bank, where there has been no widespread violence since the second intifada in the early 2000s.
Tony Walker does not work for, advises, has no involvement in a company or organization that would benefit from this article and has not disclosed relevant affiliations beyond his academic appointment. Nabil Abu Rudeineh, a senior adviser to President Mahmoud Abbas, read an official statement in which Palestinian leaders rejected the agreement and called it treason against Jerusalem, the Al-Aqsa Mosque and the Palestinians.  The Palestinian Authority (PNA) recalled its ambassador from Abu Dhabi.   Palestinian leaders also said that Hamas leader called Ismail Haniyeh Abbas and rejected the agreement, which Reuters called a “rare manifestation of unity.”  Lisa Goldman, co-founder of 972 Magazine, said that Netanyahu “never intended to annex parts of the West Bank,” but the United Arab Emirates “asserts a diplomatic victory in exchange for Israel`s probably very valuable security cooperation.”