The Al-Aqsa Storm Operation, also known as Operation Sword of Jerusalem. Has had a significant impact on the ongoing efforts to normalize relations between Arab countries and Israel. This military operation, launched by Hamas in May 2021, was a response to tensions in East Jerusalem. Particularly around the Al-Aqsa Mosque, one of the holiest sites
The Al-Aqsa Storm Operation, also known as Operation Sword of Jerusalem. Has had a significant impact on the ongoing efforts to normalize relations between Arab countries and Israel. This military operation, launched by Hamas in May 2021, was a response to tensions in East Jerusalem. Particularly around the Al-Aqsa Mosque, one of the holiest sites in Islam. The operation, which resulted in a ceasefire after 11 days of conflict, has disrupted the fragile diplomatic ties that had been forming between Israel and several Arab nations.
Firstly, Normalization of relations between Israel and Arab countries gained momentum in the wake of the Abraham Accords, brokered by the Trump administration in 2020. These agreements led to the formal recognition of Israel by the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Sudan, and Morocco, representing a significant shift in the Middle East’s geopolitical landscape. The normalization deals were as a way to enhance regional stability, foster economic cooperation, and isolate Iran.
However, the Al-Aqsa Storm Operation strained these newfound relations
Secondly, The conflict triggered protests and outrage across the Arab world, with many Arab citizens expressing solidarity with the Palestinians. This public sentiment placed Arab leaders who had normalized relations with Israel in a delicate position. They faced criticism and condemnation for their perceived support of Israel’s actions in East Jerusalem and Gaza during the conflict.
In response to the crisis
Thirdly, Some Arab countries issued statements condemning Israel’s actions and called for a cessation of hostilities. These statements were intend to appease their populations and maintain a semblance of unity within the Arab world. However, the damage had done, and the trust built through the normalization agreements was eroded.
One of the most affected nations was the United Arab Emirates (UAE). As one of the first countries to normalize relations with Israel, it faced significant backlash from its own population and other Arab states. The UAE had to balance its commitment to the Abraham Accords with its responsibility to address the concerns of its citizens who were deeply concerned about the suffering of Palestinians.
The disruption caused by the Al-Aqsa Storm Operation also influenced other potential normalization partners, like Saudi Arabia, to proceed cautiously. The Saudi leadership had been exploring the possibility of establishing formal diplomatic ties with Israel, but the conflict underscored the volatility of the region and the potential domestic backlash such a move could trigger.