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Lauding normalized ties, Tel Aviv city hall lights up with flags of Israel, UAE

Move marks 2nd time this month municipality building illuminated with Arab state’s flag, after it lit up with Lebanese flag following Beirut blast

The Tel Aviv municipality building lights up with the UAE flag on August 13, 2020, after the announcement of the Israel-UAE normalization deal brokered by the US. (Tel Aviv municipality/Twitter)
The Tel Aviv municipality building lights up with the UAE flag on August 13, 2020, after the announcement of the Israel-UAE normalization deal brokered by the US. (Tel Aviv municipality/Twitter)

The windows of Tel Aviv’s city hall lit up with the colors of the Israeli and Emirati flags Thursday night to celebrate the normalization agreement reached between the two countries hours earlier.

The municipality tweeted out footage of the flags, which illuminated the building’s facade alternating cycle, and wrote in Arabic, “We send love from Tel Aviv.”

It was the second time this month that the municipality building lit up with the flag of an Arab state. Following the catastrophic explosion at Beirut’s port on August 4, the city hall’s windows were lit with the colors of the Lebanese flag in a message of solidarity.

That move was criticized by some right-wing lawmakers and pundits who argued that such a tribute to an enemy state was inappropriate.

Tweeting out a picture of the UAE-flag on the municipality building on Thursday, Tel Aviv Mayor Ron Huldai wrote, “I congratulate PM @netanyahu on the two great achievements of #peace with the United Arab Emirates and for effectively cancelling the annexation plan. The two actions are important for the security of the State of @Israel.”

Highlighting the “achievement” of cancelling the annexation plan appeared to be a jab at the premier by the left-leaning mayor and frequent Netanyahu critic.

Netanyahu said that annexation was only being temporarily put off in favor of the normalization deal. Many analysts speculated that it would be difficult for the issue to come back on the agenda if US President Donald Trump does not win re-election in November, however.

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