The United Arab Emirates cabinet has approved the establishment of an embassy in Tel Aviv in Israel, state media said, as Israel announced the opening of its embassy in Abu Dhabi months after countries’ controversial normalization of ties.
The UAE controversially agreed to normalise relations with Israel in August, 2019 thereby enraging Palestinians who fear the move will weaken a long-standing pan-Arab position calling for Israeli withdrawal from territories it occupies illegally and acceptance of Palestinian statehood in return for normal ties with the Arab countries.
The diplomatic normalisation agreements were rejected by the Palestinians as a betrayal
Bahrain, Sudan and Morocco have all since followed in the UAE’s footsteps and agreed to establish ties with Israel, in deals brokered by the administration of former United States President Donald Trump.
The Palestinians condemned the agreements as a “stab in the back,” with Abbas the Palestinian leader saying Israel normalization is ‘violation of just and lasting’ peace.
No further details were given about the UAE embassy to Israel. Israel’s government regards Jerusalem as its capital, although that is not recognised by most of the international community.
Palestinian leaders want occupied East Jerusalem as the capital of a future Palestinian state. Most countries have their embassies in Tel Aviv.
A statement from the Israeli foreign ministry said Israel’s embassy in Abu Dhabi officially opened on Sunday with the arrival of the country’s envoy there, albeit in a temporary location until permanent premises are found.
Since formally establishing ties in September, the two countries have already established direct flights and exchanged numerous trade delegations, while thousands of Israeli tourists have visited the UAE.
The ministry also said that Israel would soon open an interest section in Morocco and a consulate in Dubai. It added an embassy in Bahrain has been operating for several weeks.