Netanyahu: No secrets in UAE deal
Prime Minister called for peace with Lebanon during Thursday’s historic Knesset vote to ratify the normalization deal with the United Arab Emirates that was initially signed in Washington last month.
“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,” Netanyahu said. “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.”
 
An example of such an enemy, he said, is Hezbollah, which continues to exercise de facto control in Lebanon, and whose presence makes peace with that neighboring country impossible.
Still, Netanyahu said, he saw a ray of hope in the talks that began Wednesday between Israel and Lebanon to resolve the maritime dispute between them.
This is “something that has enormous potential economic significance” for both countries, Netanyahu said. “I call on the Lebanese government to continue to complete these talks, to demarcate the maritime border.”
 
He added that he hopes these negotiations mark the breach of potential for a future day, when it will possible “to achieve true peace” between Israel and Lebanon.
Netanyahu called the expected passage of the deal in the Knesset historic and expressed hope that more Arab countries would follow.
The Israel-UAE peace deal is part of the US brokered Abraham Accords, that also includes a normalization deal with Bahrain that has been signed but not ratified. Israel has only two other peace deals with Middle East Arab countries, a 1979 agreement with Egypt and a 1994 one with Jordan.
Opponents of the UAE deal have been concerned that not all elements have been made public, particularly with regard to military equipment such the advanced F-35 combat jet and the annexation of West Bank settlements.

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Netanyahu told the Knesset that “there are no secret annexes or hidden clauses in the UEA deal.” 
He made the promise after declining to hold a closed door meeting with the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee subcommittee on intelligence until after the deal passed in the Knesset. The agreement is expected to pass late Thursday after a debate in which 100 MKs asked to speak. 

Netanyahu said the United Arab Emirates deal proved it was wrong to wait for the Palestinians to reach peace agreements in the region. He said he hoped the Palestinians would one day realize that they made a mistake and return to the negotiating table.

“The Palestinians were offered peace and turned it down time after time,” he said. “If we wait for the Palestinians, we will be waiting a long time.” 
Alternate Prime Minister Benny Gantz used his speech to reach out to Palestinian leader , saying “the time has come to join the journey to peace and not continue with refusal.”  
Speaking of the economic benefits of the deal, Netanyahu said Chevron is doing business with Israel now because they are no longer afraid of Gulf states opposing such a move.Gantz emphasized the significance of the deal in combatting the regional threat from Tehran, noting that it strengthened Israel and weakened Iran.
The Joint List announced on Wednesday that it plans to vote against the deal.
“In principle we are in favor of peace and work for true and permanent peace,” said Joint List MK Mtanes Shehadeh on Wednesday. “In our view, the agreement with the United Arab Emirates will actually alienate peace with the Palestinians and perpetuate the occupation and settlements.”
“It is amazing that there are those here who will vote against peace,” Netanyahu said.  
MKs Bezalel Smotrich and Ofir Sofer of the right-wing National Union party that is in the Yamona faction decided to vote in favor of the deal.
Opposition leader Yair Lapid praised the UAE deal but added criticism of Netanyahu.
“You reached a good agreement with the UAE,” Lapid said. “You managed the relationship with the President of the United States well. You failed completely when it comes to the relationship with the Democratic Party and American Jewry.” 

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