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Israeli parliament ratifies diplomatic pact with Bahrain

Posted November 10, 2020 12:52 p.m. EST

— Israel's parliament Tuesday ratified the country's recent agreement establishing formal diplomatic relations with the Gulf state of Bahrain.

The agreement was approved by a 62-14 margin. The vote was largely a formality, following last month's signing of an agreement to establish ties at a ceremony in Bahrain's capital, Manama.

The United Arab Emirates and Bahrain have both signed U.S.-brokered diplomatic pacts with Israel in recent months — making them the third and fourth Arab countries to normalize ties with Israel. Egypt was the first Arab country to do so, in 1979, followed by Jordan in 1994.

With substantial Israel-Palestinian negotiations frozen for over a decade, the Trump administration has turned its focus to establishing relations between Israel and the broader Arab world. Israel is also trying to finalize a deal with Sudan.

The Joint List, the main predominantly Arab party in parliament, voted against the deal with Bahrain in solidarity with the Palestinians, just as it opposed the agreement with the UAE.

The Palestinians have accused the Arab countries of betrayal.

The latest agreements, known as “the Abraham Accords,” have undercut the traditional Arab consensus that peace with Israel can come only after the establishment of a Palestinian state. That consensus has been one of the Palestinians' few points of leverage over Israel.

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