JERUSALEM: – Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Thursday a US-brokered deal between Israel and the United Arab Emirates represented a “historic day” for his country.
The agreement, announced by US President Donald Trump, broke new ground in Israel’s outreach to Gulf Arab countries with a common fear of Iran’s regional influence.
But Israel’s agreement, according to White House officials, to suspend de facto annexation of parts of the occupied West Bank posed a measure of political risk at home for Netanyahu, who had pledged to carry out the step.
“I will make a special announcement at 8 p.m. (1700 GMT) with more details about this historic day for the State of Israel,” Netanyahu wrote on Twitter.
His office had previously said he would hold a news conference at 1600 GMT.
A senior Israeli official said applying Israeli sovereignty to areas of the West Bank – territory Palestinians seek for a state along with Gaza and East Jerusalem – was still on the agenda.
But the official said: “The Trump administration asked us to temporarily suspend the (sovereignty) announcement so that the historic peace agreement with the UAE can be implemented.”