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Abraham Accords Weaken Due to Iranian Power, Saudi, Gulf Re-Alignment

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In a recent blow to the Abraham Accords, Morocco postponed the second Negev Summit, citing Israel’s expansion of “settlements” in Judea and Samaria. Another signatory of the Accords, the UAE has publicly rebuked Israeli for conducting a recent counter-terrorism operation. These recent events bring into question the continued viability of the Accords, as the Gulf States continue to drift towards Iran, Iran and its proxies continue to grow in strength, and the much-awaited Saudi Arabia-Israel deal remains elusive.

Gulf States Drifting to Iran

Gulf countries appear to be shifting away from contemplating normalization with Israel and towards a détente with Iran. Iran’s foreign minister met with the president of the UAE, the first Arab signatory of the Abraham Accords, and the countries signed a tourism, trade and air transport deal. Additionally, Iran’s foreign minister wrapped up a three-day tour of the Gulf, visiting with Qatar’s foreign minister to discuss bilateral relations and Iran’s nuclear program, Oman’s foreign minister to discuss the truce in Yemen, and Kuwait’s foreign minister to discuss bilateral relations and “the latest regional and international developments,” according to Kuwaiti press. Qatar, Oman and Kuwait are all US allies that had been candidates to join the Abraham Accords.

One of Israel’s senior diplomats has expressed concern with Iran’s détente with Bahrain, as well as Bahrain’s decreased visits to Israel, in a recent visit to the Gulf country. Oman has again reiterated that Israel would need to make peace with the Palestinians before Oman could normalize ties with the Jewish State.

Iran Increasing Its Military Strength

Iran is also increasing its military strength. Hezbollah set up a military post meters into Israeli territory, comprised of at most 10 men, and held that position for weeks. UNIFIL confirmed the existence of the Hezbollah base after Israel filed a complaint with the UN Security Council. UNIFIL is tasked with keeping the peace at the Israel/Lebanon border. Hezbollah is currently thought to have 150,000 missiles pointed at Israel, plus hundreds or so of precision missiles.

Additionally, Iran is claiming that it has hypersonic missile technology, and is working to improve its range to 2,000 kilometers, which would enable it to strike Israel. US intelligence claims that Iran is building a drone factory in Tartarstan, Russia, to compliment the hundreds of drones that Iran has already sent Russia for its war in Ukraine. Iran has also been testing suicide drones in the Gulf of Oman, reportedly as practice for attacking merchant ships.

Iran attempted to attack Jews and Israelis in Cyprus, but failed thanks to Cypriot and Israeli intelligence. Iran’s Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, continues to greenlight Hamas and Islamic Jihad’s terrorism against Israel, by calling Judea and Samaria a “major battleground” in the Palestinian war against Israel.

Saudi Arabia-Israel Deal Remains Elusive

Meanwhile, a deal to normalize relations between Saudi Arabia and Israel continues to elude the Biden administration. Granted, US Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs Barbara Leaf stated that Saudi Arabia had conveyed to her that it was prepared to move towards normalization with Israel on her recent visit to the kingdom. As a sign of good faith, Israel will reportedly support Saudi Arabia’s application to host World Expo 2030.

But Saudi Arabia returned that favor with disinviting Israeli diplomats to an event in Paris hosted by the Saudi Crown Price in relation to the World Expo, possibly in protest to Israel’s counterterrorism activities in Judea and Samaria.

Additionally, a grand deal between the two continues to not materialize. Israel’s National Security Advisor stated that the long talked about, US-brokered deal to arrange Israeli-Arabs to make hajj flights to Saudi Arabia won’t happen this year, and said normalization generally is “a ways off.” “Several” American officials have assessed that the chances for Saudi-Israeli normalization are at less than 50 percent, and the US is apparently not willing to meet Saudi defense and nuclear guarantees that would be a prerequisite to a deal.

The Abraham Accords continue to stagnate, as Gulf States grow closer to Iran, Iran is becoming increasingly strong militarily, and a Saudi-Israel breakthrough does not seem in the cards in the foreseeable future. The Biden administration needs to re-orient Middle East policy back towards strengthening the Accords for there to be durable peace in the Middle East.

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Palestinians in Gaza stealing food aid before it can be delivered, ‘nothing getting through’

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The United Nations has proven to be incredibly trustworthy and bias against Israel as it fights for its survival against Hamas. Senior U.N. aid official Edem Wosornu said there were “insufficient supplies and fuel to provide any meaningful level of support to the people of Gaza as they endure Israel’s military onslaught against Hamas militants.”

However, food and medicine for Palestinians in Gaza are piling up in Egypt because the Rafah crossing remains closed and there has been no aid delivered to a U.N. warehouse from a U.S.-built pier for two days, reports Reuters.

National Review explains the issue: the food aid is getting stolen before it can reach the World Food Program warehouse . . . just eight miles away. Once the food aid leaves the pier, the United Nations, international partners, and the “humanitarian community” oversee getting the aid to those who need it most. And they’re getting robbed, hijacked, and mugged.

The Gaza Pier is complete and operational, which is what the Biden administration wanted, allowing for headlines such as: “U.S. military starts delivering aid to Gaza through floating pier” this past weekend. However, “what you’re not as likely to hear about is what happens to the aid after it leaves the pier” writes National Review.

Apparently some Palestinians stole so much of the aid from the first shipments that the following shipments are on hold until authorities can find enough security.

Reuters tells the grim tale:

Aid deliveries began arriving at a U.S.-built pier on Friday as Israel comes under growing global pressure to allow more supplies into the besieged coastal enclave. The U.N. agreed to assist in coordinating aid distribution from the floating pier, but has remained adamant that deliveries by land are the best way to combat the crisis.

The U.N. said that 10 truckloads of food aid – transported from the pier site by U.N. contractors – were received on Friday at a World Food Program warehouse in Deir El Balah in Gaza.

But on Saturday, only five truckloads made it to the warehouse after 11 others were cleaned out by Palestinians during the journey through an area that a U.N. official said has been hard to access with humanitarian aid. [Emphasis added.]

“They’ve not seen trucks for a while,” a U.N. official, speaking on condition of anonymity, told Reuters. “They just basically mounted on the trucks and helped themselves to some of the food parcels.”

The U.N. did not receive any aid from the pier on Sunday or Monday. “We need to make sure that the necessary security and logistical arrangements are in place before we proceed,” said the U.N. official.

In summation, Palestinians in Gaza stole the food parcels before they could be distributed at the intended destination, and nothing’s gotten through since Saturday.
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