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(Cartoon: Carlos Latuff)

Next week, Donald Trump will host a ceremonial signing of the Israel-United Arab Emirates deal to normalize relations between the two countries. The deal has been condemned by many for failing to secure even a single concession for Palestinians. But shortly after the deal was announced, another downside — and perhaps the U.S.’s primary motivation for pursuing the deal — came sharply into focus: tens of billions of dollars in UAE weapons sales.

Israeli National Security Advisor Meir Ben-Shabbat, US National Security Advisor Robert O'Brien, and Jared Kushner before they boarded the El Al flight to Abu Dhabi. (Photo: Amos Ben-Gershom, GPO)

The first commercial Israeli flight from Tel Aviv to Abu Dhabi took off Monday morning, signifying the latest step in Israeli-UAE normalization efforts. Jared Kushner said the flight meant, “peace and prosperity are possible in this region,” but for Palestinians, it signified the opposite. Instead, it serves as a reminder of the “betrayal” of their cause by the UAE, and their painful history since the Nakba.