On Monday, the foreign minister of the United Arab Emirates (UAE), speaking at the Negev Summit in Israel, delivered a moving speech about the growing friendship between Israel and some of their Arab neighbors the day after a Palestinian terrorist attack in which young Israeli soldiers were brutally murdered. The UAE was one of the signatories of the historic Abraham Accords, one of former President Trump and his team’s greatest achievements, a tribute to Trump, U.S. Ambassador to Israel David Friedman, Jared Kushner and Avi Berkowitz.
Emirati Foreign Minister Ben Zayed, referring to the Arab diplomats from various countries who stood beside him, acknowledged that it was new for them to be in Israel. He continued, “This is our first time. So if we are curious sometimes and we want to know things and learn things, it’s because although Israel has been part of this region for a very long time, we’ve not known each other.”
“So it’s time to catch up; to build on a strong relationship,” Ben Zayed stated. “When I see 300,000 Israelis visiting the UAE in the last year and a half but at the same time I see two million visitors visiting the Israeli Pavilion and Expo in only the last six months, it says how curious we are and how much we want to know each other. And this is what I think goes against what happened yesterday; it’s by us standing together; it’s by our people to people relationship. It’s by creating a better environment for our businesses to work with each other. That’s the way we can go after the narrative of hate, of incitement, of terror. We will prevail. No doubt.”
שר החוץ האמירותי בן זאיד: כשיש 300 אלף ישראלים שמבקרים באמירויות בשנה וחצי מאז ההסכמים, זה אומר עד כמה אנחנו סקרנים ורוצים להכיר אחד את השני. וזה בניגוד למה שקרה אתמול – כשאנחנו עומדים אחד לצד השני, נוכל לעמוד מול נראטיב של שנאה, הסתה וטרור@gilicohen10 https://t.co/3O63u7i5YK pic.twitter.com/gbAfs2k0yn
— כאן חדשות (@kann_news) March 28, 2022
On Sunday night, two Arab-Israeli terrorists murdered two teenage Border Police officers and injured twelve others in Hadera. The murdered officers were Yazan Fallah, 19, from Kasra Samia, and Shirel Aboukaret, 19, from Netanya.
“The two terrorists, both residents of Umm el-Fahm, posted a video on Facebook before the attack swearing allegiance to ISIS. The terrorist movement’s news agency published a statement on Sunday taking responsibility for the attack in Hadera, as well as for the deadly terrorist attack conducted by an ISIS-supporting Bedouin-Israeli in Beersheba last week,” The Jerusalem Post reported.
Israeli Foreign Minister Yair Lapid, who opened the press conference on Monday by asserting that Israel would not be intimidated by the terrorist attack, stated, “We will continue on our path, the path of peace. I am not alone in this, everyone here shares this sentiment,” adding that the foreign ministers of Morocco, Egypt, Bahrain, and the United Arab Emirates attending the summit also condemned the attack.
Lapid also stated, “This meeting is the first of its kind and not the last. We decided to make this meeting into a dedicated forum. … What we are doing here is making history, building a new regional architecture based on progress, technology, religious tolerance, security and intelligence cooperation. This new architecture—the shared capabilities we are building— intimidates and deters our common enemies, first and foremost Iran and its proxies.”
Bahraini Foreign Minister Abdullatif bin Rashid Al Zayani condemned the terror attack, adding that the summit was “an important and timely meeting,” Morocco’s Foreign Minister Nasser Bourita echoed, “Our presence today is the best response” to terror attacks.
In the part of the Abraham Accords the UAE signed with Israel, it stated that the government of the United Arab Emirates and the government of the State of Israel aspired “to realize the vision of a Middle East region that is stable, peaceful and prosperous, for the benefit of all States and peoples in the region,” desired to “establish peace, diplomatic and friendly relations, co-operation and full normalization of ties between them and their peoples,” and believed “that the further development of friendly relations meets the interests of lasting peace in the Middle East and that challenges can only be effectively addressed by cooperation and not by conflict.” It added “deep appreciation to the United States for its profound contribution to this historic achievement,” before adding, “Peace, diplomatic relations and full normalization of bilateral ties are hereby established between the United Arab Emirates and the State of Israel.”