UAE cabinet approves establishment of embassy in Tel Aviv in further sting to Palestinians

Abbie Cheeseman
·2-min read
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu gestures during a welcoming ceremony upon the landing of a United Arab Emirates airline flydubai flight at Tel Aviv - Pool/Reuters
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu gestures during a welcoming ceremony upon the landing of a United Arab Emirates airline flydubai flight at Tel Aviv - Pool/Reuters

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) has announced the establishment of its embassy in Tel Aviv as the US national security advisor announced that America hopes to build “on the success of Israel’s normalisation agreements” under the Biden administration.

The UAE cabinet decision to approve establishing the embassy comes after they signed the Abraham Accords in September, becoming the first Gulf state to establish a full diplomatic relationship with Israel.

No further details about the embassy were given in UAE media.

While Israel’s government recognises Jerusalem as its capital, the international community does not, with Palestinians claiming East Jerusalem as the capital of a future Palestinian state. Most countries base their embassies in Tel Aviv.

Before the deal, Israel only had peace deals with only two Arab countries, Egypt and Jordan - where it has fortified embassies. Most Arab countries had previously refrained from recognising Israel, believing that recognition should only be granted if serious concessions are made in the Palestinian peace process.

Bahrain, Sudan and Morocco later agreed to follow in the UAE’s footsteps and normalise ties with Israel under US-brokered deals.

UAE - Israel deal
UAE - Israel deal

Many believe the normalisation deals have served a severe blow to international hopes of a two-state solution and to many hopes for Palestinian statehood.

On Sunday, Israel’s government voted to upgrade the current deal with Morocco and also establish diplomatic relations. Pending approval of the Knesset, Israel’s parliament, an Israeli diplomatic office will open in the Moroccan capital of Rabat in the next few days and it’s corresponding office will open in Tel Aviv “soon”, Israel’s Kann Radio cited the foreign minister, Gabi Ashkenazi as saying.

The agreements were brokered under the Trump adminstration. Favouring Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyhau’s hardline politics, President Trump moved the US embassy to Jerusalem, cut funding for Palestinians and recognised Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights.

In a phone call to his Israeli counterpart, Jake Sullivan, the US National Security Advisor, “reaffirmed President Biden’s unwavering commitment to Israel’s security” and “discussed opportunities to enhance the partnership further,” according to a statement from the White House.

Mr Sullivan added that the US hoped to build “on the successes of Israel’s normalisation agreements with UAE, Bahrain, Sudan and Morocco”, confirming that the US “will closely consult with Israel on all matters of regional security.”

The normalisation deals were largely driven by US ambition to isolate Iran in the Middle East.