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Netanyahu biggest winner as Israel to benefit from trade deals and greater regional security

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U.S. President Trump hosts leaders for Abraham Accords signing ceremony at the White House in Washington. Photo: REUTERS

U.S. President Trump hosts leaders for Abraham Accords signing ceremony at the White House in Washington. Photo: REUTERS

REUTERS

U.S. President Trump hosts leaders for Abraham Accords signing ceremony at the White House in Washington. Photo: REUTERS

Israel is likely to emerge as the biggest winner of last night's historic peace deal, as it will help build a US-led alliance against Iran, strengthen security ties with wealthy new allies, and potentially save the career of the country's embattled prime minister.

The accords unlock dozens of trade deals in aviation, tourism, and the country's advanced tech industry, with direct flights due to start running from Tel Aviv to Abu Dhabi. The Abraham Accord should also improve Benjamin Netanyahu's reputation at home, as he faces mass protests against his leadership, a corruption trial and a second wave of coronavirus.

But more importantly, Israel has secured peace with two more Arab nations, following the accords of the past with Egypt and Jordan, leaving Israel far less isolated in a hostile region.

For some time now, Israel has co-operated on security with Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates (UAE), but largely under the radar. Now that security relationship can continue in public, with concerns about the growing regional influence of Iran being a key area of common ground. At the White House ceremony, UAE Foreign Minister Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed and Bahrain's Foreign Minister Abdullatif Al Zayani each signed the agreements with Mr Netanyahu.

Iranian influence is of particular concern for Bahrain, because until 1969 the regime claimed it was part of its territory. As for the UAE - a small, oil-rich nation in the Persian Gulf - it harbours grand ambitions of becoming a key political power in the Middle East.

This deal will lend credibility to that goal, but Emirati officials stress that they also secured a significant concession from Israel in regards to the Palestinian issue. Earlier this year, Israel announced it would annex up to 30pc of the West Bank, prompting a storm of criticism. But the UAE says it has convinced Israel to postpone that move in return for a full diplomatic relationship and enhanced trade with the Gulf state.

It also appears, now the ink on the agreement is dry, that Donald Trump is willing to sell advanced F-35 fighter jets to the UAE, granting it a military prowess that could rival Saudi Arabia.

On the US side, the president is looking for any opportunity to present himself as a genius in foreign policy. As the deal stands to hugely benefit Israel, it should go down well with the Republican Right. If that wasn't enough, the Abraham Accord has also led to Mr Trump being nominated for the Nobel peace prize. (© Daily Telegraph)

Telegraph.co.uk