DUBAI (Dispatches) -- The United Arab Emirates announced Thursday that the occupying regime of Israel had agreed to abandon plans to annex parts of the occupied West Bank in exchange for normalized relations. But later statements by the Zionist regime underscored that annexation remains "on the table”, throwing the future of the territory into further uncertainty.
U.S. President Donald Trump’s original plan in January gave the occupying regime of Israel the green light to annex parts of the West Bank, where Zionist settlements are considered illegal under international law.
The Palestinians rejected the plan outright as biased and untenable as did Israel’s Arab neighbors.
The joint statement released by U.S. President Donald Trump, Zionist PM Benjamin Netanyahu and UAE leader Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed al-Nahyan said they had agreed Israel would "suspend declaring sovereignty” over Palestinian West Bank areas.
The statement also announced "the full normalization of relations between Israel and the United Arab Emirates”.
Sheikh Mohamed underscored in a tweet that during a call with Trump and Netanyahu an agreement was reached "to stop further Israeli annexation of Palestinian territories”.
But Netanyahu, who had hailed the deal as ushering in a "new era” for the Arab world and the Zionist regime, later made clear that he had only agreed to delay annexation and that the plans remained "on the table”, adding that he would "never give up our rights to our land”.
The Palestinians strongly rejected the accord, calling it a "betrayal” of their cause. They announced they were withdrawing their ambassador from the Emirates and demanded an emergency Arab League meeting.
The Islamic Jihad said normalization of ties between Tel Aviv marks a moral and strategic downfall in the UAE’s policies.
"This deal is a reward for the Occupation to press ahead with its crimes and act of aggression, and serves as a cover for the advancement of the deal of century plot,” it added.
Hamas spokesman Hazem Qassem said the UAE had essentially "stabbed” the Palestinians in the back. "The agreement with the UAE is a reward for the Israeli occupation and crimes,” he said.
Yemen’s Houthi Ansarullah movement said the deal is a "great betrayal” of the Palestinian cause. It said claims that normalization with the Zionist regime would lead to the establishment of peace and stability in the region are "mere delusions.”
In Egypt, President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi welcomed the measure as a plan "to halt the Israeli annexation of Palestinian lands”.
Sisi also called Abu Dhabi’s Crown Prince Sheikh Muhammad bin Zayed al-Nahyan to congratulate him on taking a "historic” step toward normalizing ties with the Zionist regime.
Jordan said Thursday that the Israeli-Emirati normalization deal’s impact would depend on Israel’s actions.
Jordanian Foreign Minister Ayman al-Safadi said the Zionist regime must end its "illegal actions” and its "violations of Palestinian rights”.
Iran: Deal a ‘Dangerous Move’
Iran was unequivocal in calling the deal "dangerous and illegitimate”, according to state news agency IRNA, citing a statement from Iran’s foreign ministry on Friday.
"The shameful measure of Abu Dhabi to reach an agreement with the fake Zionist regime is a dangerous move and the UAE and other states that backed it will be responsible for its consequences,” the statement added.
"History will reveal how this strategic mistake by the Zionist regime and this act of backstabbing by the Emirates against the Palestinians and, by extension, the entire Muslim community, will conversely result in fortifying the resistance axis,” it added.
Turkey Mulls Cutting Ties With UAE
President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Turkey was considering the full suspension of diplomatic relations with the United Arab Emirates.
"I gave an order to the foreign minister. I said we could suspend diplomatic relations with the Abu Dhabi administration or withdraw our ambassador,” Erdogan told reporters in Istanbul on Friday.
The Turkish Foreign Ministry said earlier in the day that history and the conscience of the people of the region will never forget and forgive the "hypocritical behavior” of the UAE in agreeing such a deal with Israel.
"While betraying the Palestinian cause to serve its narrow interests, the UAE is trying to present this as a kind of act of self-sacrifice for Palestine,” the ministry said.
Trump tapped his son-in-law and senior adviser Jared Kushner, a staunch supporter of the Zionist regime, to forge a Middle East "peace” plan. It was unveiled in Washington on January 28 alongside Netanyahu.
It gave the occupying regime Washington’s green light to annex areas including the Jordan Valley, a strategic strip along the Jordanian border, as well as some 130 Zionist settlements in the West Bank.
Israel occupied the West Bank, including East Jerusalem Al-Quds, in the Six-Day War of 1967 and has occupied it ever since. More than 600,000 Zionists live in settlements built in the territory, which Palestinians regard as the mainstay of their future state.
Kushner: Another Arab Country to Follow UAE
Kushner said Thursday another Arab country is likely to establish ties with Israel. Speaking to reporters after the agreement was announced, he said: "There is a good chance that another country could make a deal with Israel in the coming days.”
An unidentified U.S. official told the Al Quds newspaper that it was just "a matter of time” before Bahrain and Oman followed suit and established ties with the Zionist regime.
The official cited Bahrain’s decision to host the unveiling of Trump administration’s Middle East plan last year, and Oman’s previous trade relations with Israel.
Trump did not mention either country while speaking to reporters on Thursday, but suggested more diplomatic breakthroughs may emerge between Israel and countries in the region. "Things are happening that I can’t talk about,” he said.
According to Trump, delegations from the occupying regime of and the UAE are expected to meet at the White House for a signing ceremony in three weeks. They are expected to sign bilateral agreements on direct flights, security, telecommunications and other issues.