Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Senior U.S. Presidential Adviser Jared Kushner, not seen, make joint statements to the press about the Israeli-United Arab Emirates peace accords in Jerusalem, on Sunday. Photo by Debbie Hill/UPI | License Photo
Aug. 30 (UPI) -- Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday said Israel would not wait for Palestinians to make peace with the Arab world, following a normalization deal with the United Arab Emirates.
Netanyahu spoke alongside senior White House adviser Jared Kushner and U.S. National Security adviser Robert O'Brien as he praised the agreement to fully normalize relations between Israel and the United Arab Emirates, while criticizing Palestinians for rejecting the agreement.
"For far too long Palestinians have had a veto on peace, not only between the Palestinians and Israel, but Israel and the Arab states," Netanyahu said. "If we had to wait for the Palestinians, we would have to wait forever. But no longer."
O'Brien said Sunday that the deal will allow Muslims who wish to pray at the Al-Asqa Mosque to fly from Abu Dhabi to Tel Aviv, as he and Kushner are set to travel on the first-ever direct flight from Israel to the UAE on Monday.
Netanyahu went on to say that he is willing to negotiate peace with Palestinians based on the plan laid out by U.S. President Donald Trump, which includes Israel suspending annexation of the West Bank.
"As more Arab and Muslim countries join the circle of peace [the Palestinians] will be hard-pressed to remain outside," he said.
The agreement was finalized earlier this month during a phone call between Trump, Netanyahu, and Sheikh Mohammed Bin Zayed, deputy supreme commander of the United Arab Emirates.
Kushner, Trump's son-in-law, said Sunday that the deal gives Palestinians "the opportunity" to make peace.
"The offer that's been made to the Palestinians is a very gracious, realistic offer," said Kushner. "That offer showed other people in the region that Israel was serious and that led to the breakthrough that we've had here today."