Israeli parliament backs UAE normalisation deal

Clay Curtis
October 17, 2020

Israel's parliament on Thursday voted overwhelmingly in favor of formally ratifying the country's historic agreement normalising diplomatic relations with the United Arab Emirates.

Israel occupied the Gaza Strip and the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, in 1967. With 2,688 homes approved for final construction and 2,260 approved for earlier stages of planning.

A picture taken on October 13 shows new apartments buildings under construction in the Beit El settlement in the occupied West Bank.

"While de jure annexation may be suspended, the de facto annexation of settlement expansion is clearly continuing", Peace Now said.

Neighbouring Jordan condemned what foreign ministry spokesperson Daifalla Ali Alfayez described as a "unilateral and illegal" Israeli decision.

The Netanyahu government's settlement policy, he said in a statement, "will lead the region to the brink of the abyss".

Blow to two drugs used in India to fight Covid
The hydroxychloroquine and anti-HIV studies were abandoned earlier this year, and interferon was dropped on Thursday. Almost 39 million people around the world have been diagnosed with COVID-19 and more than one million have died.

The three papers also highlighted the Israeli crackdown on the weekly peaceful protests in the occupied territories against the Israeli occupation and its settlement plans and said dozens of people were hurt when the soldiers opened fire and shot teargas at the protesters.

An interesting angle of the survey was Zogby's attention to the issue of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's intention to impose Israeli sovereignty on parts of Judea and Samaria - a move that the UAE and Bahrian said Israel agreed to back out of in return for normalization.

The deals reflect a shift in the Middle East as Arab countries' shared concerns with Israel about Iran outweigh their traditional support for the Palestinians. Such actions jeopardize the two-state solution.

The latest approvals raised the number of settlement homes to be advanced this year to more than 12,150, according to Peace Now, the settlement watchdog group.

The West Bank, including East Jerusalem, is regarded as occupied territory under global law, thus making all Jewish settlements there illegal.

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