Today, Tuesday, the UAE officially requested that Israel allow it to establish an embassy in Tel Aviv.
The Israel page in Arabic on Twitter – run by the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs – said, “The representative of the UAE Ministry of Foreign Affairs submitted an official request to Israeli Foreign Minister Gabi Ashkenazi to open an Emirati embassy in Tel Aviv.”
The delivery of the request came on the sidelines of the first visit of an Emirati government delegation to Israel, during which 4 agreements were signed between the two countries.
Ahal: The UAE Foreign Ministry delegate submits an official request to Israeli Foreign Minister Gabi Ashkenazi to open an Emirati embassy in # Tel Aviv Abib. How sweeter the peace that will open the doors of cooperation and goodness to all the people of the region. And cooperate in righteousness and piety, God has commanded us. #UAE_Israel pic.twitter.com/qlnjkRnNY2
– Israel in Arabic (@IsraelArabic) October 20, 2020
The agreements included the operation of flights, cooperation in investment and science, and the exemption of individuals from entry visas, for the first time between Israel and an Arab country.
During the visit, an American official announced the establishment of the “Abraham” fund for development with an Emirati-Israeli partnership, and made clear that its capital would amount to $ 3 billion, and would be based in Jerusalem, and seek to implement investments in the Middle East and North Africa.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu received the Emirati delegation, headed by Economy Minister Abdullah bin Touq Al-Marri and Minister of State for Financial Affairs Obaid Hamid Al-Tayer.
The Emirati officials were accompanied by an American delegation that included Treasury Secretary Stephen Mnuchin and the White House envoy to the Middle East Avi Berkovitch, in a plane belonging to the Emirati Union company that landed at Ben Gurion Airport.
The visit of the Emirati delegation was limited to Ben Gurion Airport, and it took about 4 hours, in light of strict precautionary measures to confront the Corona epidemic.
“We write history in a way that will be passed down to generations. I think that the visit of a delegation from the UAE at this high level will demonstrate to our peoples, the region and the world at large the benefit of friendly and peaceful relations,” Netanyahu said while receiving Emirati officials.
On the other hand, Palestinian officials and leaders denounced the visit of the Emirati delegation, and believed that it would encourage the Israeli occupation to escalate its aggression against the Palestinian people.
Palestinian Prime Minister Muhammad Shtayyeh said, “It is regrettable that the brothers did not come back to help us against the occupation, which affects our people, our land and our religion.”
A member of the Executive Committee of the Palestine Liberation Organization, Wasel Abu Yusef, said, “This Emirati rush to normalize relations with the occupation constitutes a milestone in light of the escalation of aggression against the Palestinian people, whether settlement building and expansion, bidding to build thousands of colonial settlement units, or denial of the rights of the Palestinian people.”
He continued, “This is a shameful thing; what has been announced of bilateral agreements today, delegations that come and go, all of this is being done in order to give power cards to the occupation to escalate its aggression and crimes against the Palestinian people, and more intransigence and arrogance.”
For his part, the spokesman for the Islamic Resistance Movement (Hamas) Hazem Qassem said, “This visit will encourage the occupation to continue the gradual annexation of the West Bank lands.”