Mark Mellman, Democratic Majority for Israel President and CEO, released the following statement in response to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and the Kingdom of Bahrain officially normalizing diplomatic ties with Israel:

“DMFI welcomes peace today between Israel and two of its Gulf state neighbors, the UAE and Bahrain. This is an important step towards peace in the region, and we applaud these countries for their leadership and foresight in forging this diplomatic breakthrough.

“As part of the agreement with the UAE, we welcome the decision by Israeli leaders to suspend plans to annex portions of the West Bank, a move we have opposed since it was first advanced.

“More and more countries, once at best skeptical of Israel, are recognizing both the mutual benefits of having a strong relationship with Israel and Israel’s right to exist as a Jewish state in peace and security. We can only hope the Palestinian Authority comes to similar conclusions so that a Biden administration will be able to bring the Palestinians back to the table and facilitate a two-state solution.

“It’s sadly telling that Hamas responded to today’s agreements by firing rockets at Israeli civilians from Gaza.”