In a major development, the Knesset, the unicameral parliament of Israel, on Thursday (15 October) overwhelmingly approved the historic normalization deal with the United Arab Emirates initially signed in Washington last month, reports The Jerusalem Post.
As per the report, 80 parliamentarians voted in favour of the deal while 13 opposed it, all of whom were from The Joint List. The legislation will now move to the government for final approval.
During speeches ahead of the vote, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called for peace with Lebanon, Israel’s neighbor in the north. The two countries have recently launched US-brokered negotiations to end a long-time dispute over their maritime border.
“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,” said Netanyahu, who spoke both at the start and the end of the nine-hour debate.
“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.”
“I call on the government of Lebanon to continue and complete these talks,” Netanyahu said, adding that the move could “one day, in the future, lead to true peace.”
Israel and the UAE signed an agreement to normalize their relations in Washington on September 15. During the ceremony, a peace deal was also signed between Israel and Bahrain.
The UAE and Bahrain became the first Gulf countries to agree to form official relations with Israel.
Previously, two Arab countries, Egypt and Jordan, had signed peace agreements with Israel.
With IANS Inputs