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Netanyahu with Trump after signing the Abraham Accords. Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

The Israeli Knesset approved the U.S.-brokered normalization treaty with the United Arab Emirates on Thursday.

Why it matters: The treaty was previously approved by the cabinet, which will now be asked to ratify it. It won't come into force until approved by the UAE.

The state of play: 80 members of Knesset voted in favor, 13 voted against and 27 didn’t participate in the vote.

  • 13 members of the Arab Joint List voted against the treaty because the preamble mentioned President Trump’s “deal of the of the century” — a proposal they say would destroy the chances of an independent Palestinian state.

What they are saying:

  • Prime Minister Netanyahu said in a speech before the vote that the treaty included no secret side letters or hidden annexes — a response to criticism he's received for not disclosing his awareness of a pending arms deal between the U.S. and UAE. Critics have accused him of at least tacitly blessing that deal, which he denies.
  • Minister of Defense Benny Gantz and Foreign Minister Gabi Ashkenazi both welcomed the treaty, which they noted was only possible because Netanyahu backed off his plan for immediate annexations in the West Bank (something both opposed).

What’s next: On Tuesday a senior ministerial delegation from the UAE will arrive in Israel for a first public visit. Israeli officials said they hope bilateral agreements will be signed on visas, direct flights and trade.

Go deeper

Jan 21, 2021 - World

Biden opts for five-year extension of New START nuclear treaty with Russia

Putin at a military parade. Photo: Valya Egorshin/NurPhoto via Getty

President Biden will seek a five-year extension of the New START nuclear arms control pact with Russia before it expires on Feb. 5, senior officials told the Washington Post.

Why it matters: The 2010 treaty is the last remaining constraint on the arsenals of the world's two nuclear superpowers, limiting the number of deployed nuclear warheads and the bombers, missiles and submarines which can deliver them.

Jan 21, 2021 - World

World leaders react to "new dawn in America" under Biden administration

President Biden reacts delivers his inaugural address on the West Front of the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday. Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

World leaders have pledged to work with President Biden on issues including the COVID-19 pandemic and climate change, with many praising his move to begin the formal process for the U.S. to rejoin the Paris Climate Agreement.

The big picture: Several leaders noted the swift shift from former President Trump's "America First" policy to Biden's action to re-engage with the world and rebuild alliances.

Updated 4 hours ago - World

U.S. airstrike kills senior al-Qaeda leader in Syria, DOD says

A displacement camp near the village of Qah in Syria's northwestern Idlib province. Photo: Ahmad Al-Atrash/AFP via Getty Images

A U.S. airstrike in northwest Syria on Friday killed senior al-Qaeda leader Abdul Hamid al-Matar, U.S. Central Command said in a statement.

Why it matters: Syria serves as a "safe haven" for the extremist group to plan external operations, according to U.S. Army Maj. John Rigsbee.