Israeli jets bomb Gaza after rocket fire clouds peace deal signing

Israel, 2 Gulf nations seal new accords at White House ceremony, angering Palestinians

Palestine on Tuesday said that the signing of the normalization agreements between Israel, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Bahrain in Washington will not achieve peace in the Middle East region. "After decades of division and conflict, we mark the dawn of a new Middle East", Trump said.

But that was basically an opening for the Trump administration to say, you know what?

"We have many other countries going to be joining us, and they're going to be joining us soon", Trump said just hours after Bahrain and the UAE officially signed documents normalizing ties with Israel.

Even the harshest critics have allowed that the agreements could usher in a major shift in the region should other Arab nations, particularly Saudi Arabia, follow suit, with implications for Iran, Syria and Lebanon. "I think their mind is very open", said Trump who also met with Bahrain Foreign Minister Abdullatif al-Zayani ahead of the signing ceremony.

Other Arab countries believed to be close to recognizing Israel include Oman, Sudan, and Morocco. US House Speaker Pelosi issued a statement on Tuesday promising that the Congress "will be watching and monitoring" to ensure that Israel can maintain its qualitative military advantage in the Middle East in light of the potential deal.

The staging of the event seemed created to invoke the scene 25 years ago in the same location, when President Bill Clinton brokered an agreement - and iconic handshake - between Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin of Israel and the Palestinian leader Yasir Arafat.

No casualties were reported on either side of the Israel-Gaza frontier. Two people were slightly wounded.

In an op-ed for NBC news, she wrote: "Historically, Arab states have refused to normalize relations with Israel until and when it guarantees Palestinian national rights".

In the initial assault from Gaza on Tuesday night, the rockets triggered sirens in the cities of Ashkelon and Ashdod, potentially sending hundreds of thousands of residents rushing to bomb shelters just as the country's leader was signing historic accords with two Gulf states, vociferously opposed by the Palestinians.

According to Wafa, the official Palestinian news agency, Israeli warplanes fired missiles at a site in Beit Lahiya in the northern strip. "We have an agreement with the Americans that they will keep our qualitative edge".

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Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said this moment marked a "pivot of history" and a "new dawn of peace", praising President Trump for his work on the agreement.

"Annexation and the theft of Palestinian land continues unabated, as it did before the Israeli government pointed to a date in the calendar as "annexation" day and will continue to do so after", she said.

Mr Trump predicted that Iran - a regional rival to Bahrain and the UAE - would seek to make a deal with the United States if he is reelected.

"We've already begun to cooperate on combating coronavirus and I am sure that together we can find solutions to numerous problems that afflict our region and beyond", he said. "I'll make a very fair deal". Netanyahu thanked Trump saying that he "has a key to the hearts of the people of Isreal. This holds great promise for Israel and its neighbors, but also sends an unmistakable message to those who desire to undermine normalization that the future is not in their hands". Palestinians lost Trump in - lost trust in Trump a long time ago.

Although a diplomatic win for Netanyahu, the ceremony takes place while he faces criticism at home of his handling of the coronavirus pandemic and a corruption trial on charges of bribery, fraud and breach of trust that have led to frequent street protests.

Mr Trump said on Tuesday he was willing to sell the warplanes to the UAE despite Israeli opposition.

While the text of the agreement has not been made public, Israeli officials reportedly told The Jerusalem Post it will not go into effect until the Israeli cabinet ratifies the agreement and UAE officials reportedly said there will be references to a two-state solution. Jordon signed a peace pact in 1994.

Palestinian leaders in the occupied West Bank have condemned the UAE and Bahrain for moving forward without a peace deal for the Palestinians.

"This is a backstab to the Palestinian people", said Zeina Hutchison, head of a coalition of pro-Palestinian associations behind the rally.

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