Israel's Knesset approves Abraham Accord with UAE

Peace treaty was approved with consensus of government and opposition

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, US President Donald Trump, and UAE Foreign Minister Abdullah bin Zayed. Courtesy MOFAIC
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The Israeli Knesset approved a deal to normalise ties with the UAE on Thursday by an overwhelming majority, with the consensus of the government and the opposition.

The “Treaty of Peace, Diplomatic Relations and Full Normalisation between the United Arab Emirates and the State of Israel” bill was passed by 80 votes to 13. Twenty-seven members abstained.

The Abraham Accord, announced in August, led to the establishment of diplomatic ties in exchange for Israel freezing annexation of West Bank and Jordan Valley lands.

It was signed at a ceremony at the White House last month.

The accord details a commitment to “achieve a just, comprehensive, realistic and enduring solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict” that meets the "legitimate needs and aspirations of both peoples, and to advance comprehensive Middle East peace, stability and prosperity”.

Celebrating the passing of the bill, Israel's Foreign Minister Gabi Ashkenazi said "the dream has become a reality".

"It is a conceptual change that will benefit future generations," he said on Twitter.

"I believe these changes, the window of opportunity that has opened, will lead to further agreements with other countries."

The UAE became the first country in more than two decades to establish official ties with Israel, after Egypt in 1979 and Jordan in 1994 signed peace deals.

The UAE has made it clear that normalising relations with Israel does not change its stance in supporting an independent Palestinian state with East Jerusalem as its capital.

The Arab Joint List, the third largest political bloc in Israel's Parliament, said it would vote against the deal.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called for peace with Lebanon during Thursday's historic Knesset vote to ratify the normalisation deal.

“Since the dawn of Zionism we have held a defensive weapon in one hand, while the other has been outstretched in peace, to anyone that wants peace,” Mr Netanyahu said.

“It is said that peace is made with an enemy. No, peace is made with someone who has ceased to be an enemy.

"Peace is made with those who want peace and not with those who remain committed to your destruction."