For decades, most Arab states have boycotted Israel, insisting they would only establish ties after Israel’s dispute with the Palestinian was settled.
“After decades of division and conflict we mark the dawn of a new Middle East,” President Trump told a crowd of hundreds gathered at the White House on September 15.
“We’re here this afternoon to change the course of history,” he added.
Israel’s PM Benjamin Netanyahu welcomed the deals, saying: “This day is a pivot of history; it heralds a new dawn of peace.”
However, Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas said only an Israeli withdrawal from occupied territories could bring peace to the Middle East.
“Peace, security and stability will not be achieved in the region until the Israeli occupation ends,” he said in a statement after the signing of the deals, AFP reports.
The Israeli army said that two rockets were fired from the Gaza Strip into Israel while the ceremony was under way.
Before the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain, the only other Arab countries in the Middle East to recognize Israel officially were Egypt and Jordan, who signed peace treaties in 1978 and 1994 respectively.
Mauritania, a member of the Arab League in north-west Africa, established diplomatic relations with Israel in 1999 but severed ties in 2010.
Three Gulf countries have withdrawn their ambassadors from Qatar amid accusations that it has meddled in internal affairs.
Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and the UAE, which are all part of the Gulf Co-operation Council (GCC) along with Qatar, made the joint statement on Wednesday.
The statement claims that Qatar failed to commit to an agreement it signed three months ago in Riyadh.
Tensions between Qatar and the rest of the GCC have increased in recent years.
The joint statement said that during a meeting on Monday in Riyadh, the three countries had made “major efforts to convince Qatar” to implement a 2013 GCC agreement on joint security.
The recall of the ambassadors was therefore necessary to ensure “security and stability”.
Three Gulf countries have withdrawn their ambassadors from Qatar amid accusations that it has meddled in internal affairs
Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Bahrain have been calling for increased military and diplomatic union within the six-member GCC, which also includes Qatar, Omar and Kuwait.
However, Qatar and Oman have so far resisted increased integration in these fields.
The incident is one of the most serious disagreements within the GCC in recent times.
Oil and gas-rich Qatar has been an increasingly vocal diplomatic player. It strongly supported Egypt’s now-ousted Islamist President Mohamed Morsi and is a key backer of rebels in Syria.
Qatar is home to the influential al-Jazeera news network, which broadcasts across the world and has been critical of Saudi Arabia and other Gulf states.
The state is seen as a major financial and diplomatic supporter of the Muslim Brotherhood, which is banned in Saudi Arabia and the UAE.
On Monday, a Qatari citizen received a seven-year jail sentence in the UAE for supporting a group affiliated with the Muslim Brotherhood.
Meanwhile, Egypt’s new government, which is backed by Saudi Arabia, has charged nine al-Jazeera journalists of aiding a terrorist organization, as it now brands the Muslim Brotherhood, and has put them on trial.
A Bahraini policeman has died of wounds from a bomb blast during protests marking Friday’s third anniversary of the country’s uprising.
According to the interior ministry, he was one of two officers wounded in a “terror blast” in the village of Dair.
Another three policemen were injured by an explosion near the village of Dih.
Protesters were marking the 2011 unrest fuelled by demands for more rights and an end to discrimination against the majority Shia community.
On Friday demonstrators attempted to reach the site of a bloody crackdown on demonstrators almost three years ago.
Several demonstrators were reportedly wounded by security forces. The interior ministry said in a statement that 26 people were arrested on suspicion of “rioting and vandalism”.
Police used tear gas to stop them from reaching the Pearl Roundabout, which was a focus of protests in 2011.
A Bahraini policeman has died of wounds from a bomb blast during protests marking Friday’s third anniversary of the country’s uprising
Since then, police and demonstrators have scuffled almost daily. Thousands of people have been arrested.
Associated Press quoted the Bahrain Youth Society for Human Rights as saying 38 protesters had been hurt in clashes since Thursday evening, with injuries caused by birdshot fire, tear gas and beatings.
The government and opposition have held two rounds of fruitless reconciliation talks, with a third expected soon.
The protesters are mostly from poorer, Shia areas in the villages outside the capital.
Protesters have repeatedly used burning tyres and other debris as a tactic to block police vehicles from entering Shia areas.
Sunni Muslims are a minority in the country but through the al-Khalifa dynasty have ruled over the Shia Muslim majority for more than 200 years.
Abdulhadi al-Khawaja, Bahrain’s jailed opposition activist, is to have his case retried, an appeal court has ruled.
The retrial will take place in a civil court. A military court sentenced Abdulhadi al-Khawaja to life in prison for plotting against the state last June.
Abdulhadi al-Khawaja began a hunger strike some three months ago. His case has become a rallying point for other activists.
Twenty other activists will also face retrials, the court ruled.
Seven of them have been tried in absentia.
“The court is [ordering] that the trial take place again and that testimony from prosecution and defense witnesses be heard once more as if it is a new trial,” the official news agency BNA was quoted as saying.
Abdulhadi al-Khawaja, Bahrain's jailed opposition activist, is to have his case retried, an appeal court has ruled
A crowd of opposition supporters chanted outside the courthouse in the capital Manama after the verdict was announced.
This is only a limited victory for Abdulhadi al-Khawaja and his team, our correspondent says.
It means the ruling by the military court has been thrown out – but he will remain in custody while his case is reviewed.
“I think it is ridiculous, what sort of legal process is this?” said Abdulhadi al-Khawaja’s wife Khadija al-Moussawi.
“They are playing for time, and should have transferred his case to a civilian court at the first hearing not the third.”
“Just let them go. The government commissioned the Bassiouni report and that declared that they were prisoners of conscience,” she said, referring to an independent inquiry into events in 2011 that delivered a searing indictment of the government, including its treatment of Khawaja.
“They must be freed.”
Abdulhadi al-Khawaja has dual nationality with Denmark, and the Danish ambassador criticized the decision to keep him in custody and renewed his call for Khawaja to be transferred to Denmark on humanitarian grounds.
Abdulhadi al-Khawaja remains in hospital in a serious condition, having lost 25% of his bodyweight during his campaign.
“I saw him on Sunday,” Khadija Moussawi said.
“He is very weak. He had been restrained and force-fed through a tube for five days, but agreed to be fed by IV. He will decide today, what course to take. “
The hospital denies Abdulhadi al-Khawaja has been force-fed, saying he gave written permission to be fed via a naso-gastric tube.
Crown Prince Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa of Bahrain says the weekend’s Formula 1 Grand Prix will go ahead despite protests.
“Cancelling the race just powers extremists. Having it allows us to build bridges and celebrate our nation as an idea that’s positive,” Prince Salman said.
Unrest in the Gulf state has led to calls for the race to be cancelled for the second year running.
On Friday, thousands attended a protest in Budaiya, demanding an end to the crackdown on dissent.
Riot police initially showed restraint, but when a group of about 100 protesters broke away and attempted to reach the site of the former Pearl Roundabout – the focus of last year’s pro-democracy demonstrations – they fired stun grenades and tear gas.
The overnight demonstrations called for the “overthrow of the regime” and the release of the human rights and political activist, Abdulhadi al-Khawaja, who has been on hunger strike in prison for more than 70 days in protest at the life sentence he received from a military tribunal in June.
Crown Prince Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa of Bahrain says the weekend's Formula 1 Grand Prix will go ahead despite protests
Earlier in the day, the Force India team missed Friday’s second practice session because they wanted to return to their hotel before dark.
Four of their mechanics narrowly avoided being hit by petrol bombs during a clash between protesters and police on Wednesday.
On Thursday, a bus containing 12 mechanics from the Sauber team took to the hard shoulder after encountering a burning bottle in the road and seeing masked men running towards their lane. No-one was hurt in either incident.
Several British politicians have called for the race to be cancelled while Amnesty International said “not much has changed” in Bahrain since last year’s protests led to the deaths of more than 50 anti-government demonstrators.
Prime Minister David Cameron said it was a matter for Formula 1, but Labour leader Ed Milliband insisted it would send out the wrong signal if the grand prix went ahead at a time of protests over human rights abuses.
However, Prince Salman said he thought the race could be “a force for good”.
“I think this race should continue because it is indeed a very big event for this country, important economically, socially,” he said.
“It was only a few politicians who made those comments and it certainly doesn’t represent the entire British political system.”
Prince Salman, flanked by F1 chief Bernie Ecclestone, gave a media briefing at the track.
Bernie Ecclestone said: “We came here because this race asked to be put on the calendar. We’re happy and delighted it was.
“What happens in this country is nothing to do with us. This race has given the protesters an incredible platform for all you guys to talk to them.
“They say they talk about democracy, which is freedom of speech. They’ve had all the freedom in the world to talk.”
Ferrari boss Stefano Domenicali said teams had been given assurances about their safety.
“With regard to security, we have received all the guarantees from the federation and the organiser and so far everything is under control. I don’t feel we as teams are the target of the protesters and that is really important,” he said.
“I would say there are two points. One there is the race, a sporting event, where we have to be focused as a team here in the paddock.
“Secondly, there is a political issue that is not really on our side to comment.”
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