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One more down — alarming developments in Persian Gulf

On 13th of August, eventually, UAE decided to bring Jewish state to the front line of Persian Gulf. Israel and the UAE agreed to full normalization of relations in a phone call with US President Donald Trump on Thursday, marking the first peace treaty between Israel and an Arab country in 25 years. The agreement will include establishing embassies and exchanging ambassadors, investments into the Israeli economy, trade, direct flights between Tel Aviv and Abu Dhabi and cooperation in matters of energy and water.

President Trump revealed the historic agreement following a three-way call with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and UAE leader Mohammed bin Zayed. This was, as he tweeted, a “HUGE” achievement. The UAE joins Jordan, which reached a peace agreement with Israel in 1994 and Egypt, which signed a pact with its former enemy in 1979 and the intention behind all past agreements were to strengthen their economies and maintain peace in the region.

The US Newspaper revealed that the UAE approached the Trump administration and offered formal peace agreement with Israel. At the same time the formal peace would give it access to previously off-limits U.S. weaponry, such as advanced drones. Until now, these weapons had been denied to them because of the U.S. commitment to preserving Israel’s qualitative military edge. While that edge has been essential for meeting Israeli security and deterrence needs, peace was also built into the calculus. The United States provided Egypt advanced weaponry after President Anwar Sadat made peace with Israel. Similarly, Jordan did not get F-16s until King Hussein concluded a peace treaty with Israel.

The equation of easing the military edge requirements when a country makes peace with Israel is now going to be applied again to the UAE. The idea is to reinforce the message to other neighboring Gulf countries that peace with Israel should yield long-term economic and security benefits, even if in the short term, as Emirate leaders probably expect, it exposes them to threats from Iran and radical Islamists.

Israel strategically continued to keep engaged in the Middle East and always destabilize neighboring countries until and unless those neighboring countries recognized Israel. And so to UAE, but this time without any war or threat

Israel is a small country in the Middle East, about the size of New Jersey, located on the eastern shores of the Mediterranean Sea and bordered by Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon and Syria. The nation of Israel-with a population of more than 8 million people, most of them Jewish-has many important archaeological and religious sites considered sacred by Jews, Muslims and Christians alike, and a complex history with periods of peace and conflict. After Israel declared its independence on May 14, 1948, Israel engaged several Arab countries and defeated them with the support of true friends.

Five Arab nations-Egypt, Jordan, Iraq, Syria, and Lebanon-immediately invaded the region in what became known as the 1948 Arab-Israeli War. Some of other conflicts include: In 1956, Egyptian president Jamal Abdel Nasser overtook and nationalized the Suez Canal, the only shipping waterway that connects the Red Sea to the Mediterranean Sea. With the help of British and French forces, Israel attacked the Sinai Peninsula and retook the Suez Canal.

In 1967, Israel defeated Egypt, Jordan and Syria in a six days war. After this brief war, Israel took control of the Gaza Strip, Sinai Peninsula, the West Bank, and Golan Heights. These areas were considered “occupied” by Israel.

In 1973, Egypt and Syria launched air strikes against Israel. The fighting went on for two weeks, until the UN adopted a resolution to stop the war. Syria hoped to recapture the Golan Heights during this battle but was unsuccessful. In 1981, Israel annexed the Golan Heights, but Syria continued to claim it as territory.

In 1982, Israel invaded Lebanon and ejected the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO). This group, which started in 1964 and declared all Arab citizens living in Palestine up to 1947 to be called “Palestinians,” focused on creating a Palestinian state within Israel.

First Palestinian Intifada (a Arabic word meaning “shaking off”): Israeli occupation of Gaza and the West Bank led to a 1987 Palestinian uprising and hundreds of deaths. A peace process, known as the Oslo Peace Accords, ended the Intifada. After this, the Palestinian authority formed and took over some territories in Israel. In 1997, the Israeli army withdrew from parts of the West Bank.

Second Palestinian Intifada: Palestinians launched suicide bombs and other attacks on Israelis in 2000. The resulting violence lasted for years, until a cease-fire was reached. Israel announced a plan to remove all troops and Jewish settlements from the Gaza strip by the end of 2005.

Second Lebanon War: Israel went to war with Hezbollah. The UN-negotiated ceasefire ended the conflict a couple of months after it started. Hamas Wars: Israel has been involved in repeated violence with Hamas in 2006. Some of the more significant conflicts took place beginning in 2008, 2012 and 2014.

In short, Israel strategically continued to keep engaged in the Middle East and always destabilize neighboring countries until and unless those neighboring countries recognized Israel. And so to UAE, but this time without any war or threat.

No doubt, Israel ranks 22 on the latest report of the UN’s Human Development Index, which places it in the category of “Very Highly Developed”, allowing the country to enjoy a higher standard of living than many Western countries. Israel has the second-largest number of startup companies in the world after the United States, and the third-largest number of NASDAQ-listed companies after the U.S. and China. All major multinational companies have opened Research and Development centers in Israel. Israel’s major economic sectors are high-technology and industrial manufacturing. Relatively poor in natural resources, Israel depends on imports of petroleum, raw materials, wheat, motor vehicles, uncut diamonds and production inputs.

So, we can say Israel is an inspirational country especially to those Gulf countries who have artificial economies and have full dependency on oil exports. Secondly, the Beirut Port blast might also be a game changer and indirect message to all port cities of the Gulf region including UAE which enabled Abu Dhabi to take this decision or to disclose its relationship with Israel. President Trump said in his video message that there are some other close friends in line to come with the same normalization agreement. It is not hidden that who else is in line. Let’s see when other close friends of the US will show some courage to formally disclose their hidden relationships and open doors for Israel.

In another perspective, this is all, in fact, can also be considered as a very important and strategic development from Israel and the USA in the region against Iran, the traditional enemy of UAE and KSA in Persian Gulf. One more Islamic block is the formation process which is not in the good book of KSA and UAE. Iran and Turkey already lashed out at their regional rival the United Arab Emirates for normalization of its relationships with Israel. This is a natural response in this regard.

This article was originally published at: https://dailytimes.com.pk/655340/one-more-down-alarming-developments-in-persian-gulf/

The opinions expressed in this article are the author's own and do not necessarily reflect the viewpoint or stance of SDPI.